Police Meet with Community Personalities and Leaders

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn [CHI] — Following what had taken place at this month’s precinct council meeting, police officials understood that there is unanswered questions and bad feelings within the Crown Heights Jewish community has, following some serious crime incidents which took place in the past year.

Wednesday afternoon a meeting took place between the police and influential people in the community along with some community leaders, and they discussed the contemporary issues as well as past incidents leading up to the walk out at the Precinct Council Meeting. Also attending the meeting were representatives from the Police Commissioner and the Chief of the Community Affairs Bureau.

More in the Extended Article!

Commanding officer of the 71st Precinct Deputy Inspector Frank Vega opened the meeting by thanking everyone for coming to the meeting and immediately jumped in to the issues at hand, namely the Precinct Council Meeting. Mr. Vega described the meeting as a year end and summery meeting and therefore included his lengthy remarks, he added that this meeting they had cut out the guest speaker and shortened the minutes and treasurers remarks for this reason.

Mr. Vega spoke about the spike in Muggings and Robberies in 2006 but this year we saw a significant reduction in those numbers, he then went on to say that statistics is statistics but we have to look at them not as such, but as people that were victimized and our current 200 plus officers are being trained to behave as such. Mr. Vega went on to say that out of the upcoming police academy graduation we are going to be getting an additional 36 officers and they will need to get ‘warmed up’ to our community and way of life.

Mr. Vega then went back to the meeting and said that it is not a forum for public humiliation and embarrassment, it’s a meeting to hear from the police and at the end of the meeting questions and concerns can be voiced. He added that there had never been major media at such meetings, they are simply not allowed in “it doesn’t make sense for a resident to stand up and complain about drug activity in their hallway and end up on the evening news”. The meetings are closed and private.

He then went on to speak about the incidents which were brought to light by the mailing from Jewish Leadership Council and said that yes mistakes have been made, but Chief Joseph Fox, Commanding officer of the Brooklyn South Task Force was involved and changes have been made. He added that should issues arise where there is a belief that incidents aren’t being handled properly they should be brought up by Community Leaders.

One of the attendees then brought up his issue with the meeting stating that the Inspector should have warned the crowd the nature of the meeting, also being that it was many of the attendees first time at the meeting.

Another attendee raised the thought of police hosting a meeting especially to address the issues of concern that everyone had, which had prompted everyone to attend the meeting. He added that the meeting should be held in a hall in the community such as the one at Lubavitcher Yeshiva, where questions and grievances can be aired and answered properly.

The idea was met with agreement from everyone at the meeting and specifics as to how such a meeting should be held and who should function as a moderator were discussed.

Rabbi Shea Hecht brought attention to the fact that we are all updated on the fact that a crime took place, but we are never made aware of arrests made or cases solved. He brought up the idea of setting up a blotter in the new Crown Heights Newspaper with exactly such information.

Rabbi Hecht then added about the fact that it is such a hassle to fill out police reports, the amount of time it takes is much cheaper to just go and fix a broken car window and swallow the $100 loss and forget about the report. This leads people to believe that this is the reason for the statistics being down.

Mr. Vega responded that filing a report doesn’t always have to be filed right away; if you are in a hurry you can come back later and go down to the station house and fill the roper out there, even after fixing a broken window.

The murder of Reb Ephraim Klien HY”D was brought up, Mr. Vega responded that the 2nd year to his murder is coming up this February and Detective Sullivan is on the case, he said that there were rumors on the street about tips and information, all of which was checked and turned up no more information.

Rabbi Hecht also brought up the idea of putting up cameras around the neighborhood as a way of preventing crime and to help solve crimes once they occur. Mr. Vega said that there are currently a few places around Crown Heights where they employ cameras, but they are not constantly monitored and with the limited resources of the 71st Precinct they would not be able to blanket the community with security cameras.

One of the residences sitting on the meeting brought up the idea of putting up signs on privately owned cameras that they are being monitored by the police, bringing more criminal awareness and prevent crime.

Another attendee mentioned the fact that the Crown Heights Jewish community resides over two precincts, the 71st and the 77th, and when residence talk about the spike in crime they are referring to both precincts and that the stats are intertwined. Mr Vega stated that he speaks with the commanding officer of the 77th Precinct twice a week and he will bring it up with him, and raise the idea of having representatives from the 77th as well as the 71st attend the community meeting.

CrownHeights.info brought up the fact that a lot of times the Police reports are not actually lost, but when a crime victim calls the precinct in order to get their Report Number, they are met by an unsympathetic and lazy person in the Report Room who does not bother nor put in the effort to pull up the police report, a matter which gives people the pretense to thinking that police are hiding and loosing police reports.

Mr. Issac Zellermaier raised the issues of police treatment, when a resident comes in to the precinct and has to wait together with the criminals to speak to speak to Police which gives the feeling that they feel wronged twice, an issues rampant with some of the way police officers treat victims.

Mr. Zellermaier added that sometimes at the scene of incidents emotions flare and confrontations may occur, he brought up the idea of a CPU Card, which essentially would be a business card with a phone number to the Community Policing Unit which they can call and complain or raise an issue they felt the officers weren’t receptive to.

Overall those gathered felt this to be a productive meeting, and expressed their hope that we can overcome the issues and really make Crown Heights a safe neighborhood.

19 Comments

  • 1. qkfngers wrote:

    I was at that fateful council meeting (one of only a few women!) and am glad to hear that our concerns of how the meeting ran were heard in a calm and mesudadik way.
    thank you to those who put together and talked on behalf of the community to the police dept.
    Please advise all of us when this proposed community meeting will occur “in one of our halls (ULY)”. I will surely be present.
    I hope that everyone that is able to join does so; even if you don’t have a specific complaint or issue, the physical support of the C.H. Jewish community is essential to the larger law enforcement and community improving our lives and making our surroundings safer.
    Rivka

  • 2. awacs wrote:

    Who from the community attended the meeting, Webby?

    I only see two names in the article. Were there more?

  • 3. eliezer wrote:

    so thing are getting better that why they are ignoring us & stoping us from filing police reports?

  • 7. We have the stats! wrote:

    Weeby, I’m sure you can get a pretty good “Real” statistics by adding up all of the incidents reported on your site!

  • 8. very frustrated wrote:

    how befitting is it that right after this article we read about the effectiveness of these meetings to show off pictures of Rubashkin and the like, with the following article about another attempted mugging and assault. let’s see if a community meeting with community members being allowed to actually open their mouths without having to wait three hours for all the hotshots to shut up will actually happen.

  • 9. A SHCUNA RESIDENT wrote:

    Talk is cheap!meanwhile Shecuna residents are being harassed & unfairly ticketed by the police fro Bs I personally witnessed in the span of 20 minutes Yesterday(Friday) that the police in unmarked cars had pulled over & ticketed three members of Anash. i call that A response to complaints & continued ignoring our needs & punishing anash for daring to complain. way to go vaad hakohal another outstanding job!!!

  • 10. WITH RESPECT wrote:

    shea hecht is great at what he does for the ncjfe but it would be more helpful if the police felt that we are coming to them from a position of strenght

    i dont get that feeling from rabbi hecht when it comes to the police/community realtionship

  • 11. Yankel Wice, City Council liaison wrote:

    City Council Member Letitia James and I attended the meeting and are now following through with setting dates and locations for the community meetings with the police and CHJCC.

  • 12. Seriously wrote:

    Dear CHJCC:

    You know you have been on your seats of honor for a considerable amount of time. What type of security have you added after Mr klein HY”D was killed. What have you done after a bochur was viciously beaten on Carroll bet. Troy and schenectady. I KNOW WE HAD A FACINATING TRUCK THAT LIFTS POLICE W/ VIDEO EQUIPTMENT SURVEIL THE AREA.

    The only cops we see in the streets are the ticket writers.

    I am only writing this for one reason. I love my bretheren in this community.

  • 13. cameras in strategic points wrote:

    having more cameras has nothing to do with monitoring them.
    Because once you know more or less at what time something happened,you could always go back and check only what happened at a certain time.
    The fact that more crimes could be so easy is going to make the perpetrators think twice before doing something wrong.

  • 14. boruch ben tzvi(A H)hakohaine hoffinger wrote:

    B”H
    A SHCUNA RESIDENT wrote: Shcuna Resident: don’t break laws and you won’t get tickets.
    & unfairly ticketed? double parking is illegal, etc.
    Give us examples of unfairly ticketed.
    All the examples of losing reports and evidence were errors? Possible.
    Pretty sloppy and unprofessional polic work.
    I used to be a PAA (Police Adminstrative Aide) at the 63rd Pct. in the mid 70’s. (Union Street in Redhook).
    They need me back again. I received many praises from Lieutenant DiLorenzo and had many friend there.
    I quit because I was shifted to the midnight shift. Couldn’t cope with it.

  • 15. outraged wrote:

    Nothing will happen.

    my wife was exposed by an African American male in the presence of our young children on Albany Ave between President and Carroll…but did not bother reporting to police as believed they would do nothing. They hate the Jews..simple

    meanwhile the Community leadership is too concerned with their own egos to challenge the police for some accountability

  • 16. angry wrote:

    And so???

    Nothing will change, it’s just an attempt to show Rubashkin is DOING something which he’s not. He’s just scared by Berel Sugar’s massive support in the community by ordinary scared residents.

    People are sick & tired of the non response to situations by our community “leaders’. So when a group of Yungermen get up off their backs & start to make changes, all of a sudden Rubashkin starts to move.

    Still, there’ll only be talk, no action. Shea Hecht has joined forces with Rubashkin, who owes him big, just to stop Sugar and his guys from succeeding. Shea you’re being used!!

    they don’t are about us, they only care about their positions and kovod. what a waste of time! This meeting won’t change a thing.

  • 17. moving to alaska wrote:

    I am moving to alaska. It’s cold but the crime rate is low and the Eskimos make great neighbors.

  • 18. answer to out-of-towner wrote:

    you asked where was berel sugar?

    it is not moshe rubashkin etc. that are scared of the Jewish Leadership Council, it is the NYPD.

    they finally see that there are members in the community that have the back-bone to say it like it is without dressing it up nicely for them.

    so they cowardly invited the fineshmekers to come say “it’s ok”. they had no use for guys like berel who would actually make them hone-up to they’re responsibility.

    enough padding them on the back, it’s time to be honest and up frot. if the police dept is failing to even take reports properly, and who knows about dealing with actual crime…

    i was at the meeting and i think it is a discrease to make a mock-apology to community leaders who were not even at the council meeting?!?! if the PD was half ready to take us seriously they would not only have invited berel, they would have demanded his presence.

    i find it quite sad that when it comes to Israeli politicians we critisize them for showing weakness to the arabs. Yet our own politicians show the same weakness…

    P.S. for the hour and a half that Vega blabbered on at the council meeting, he covered not one ‘end-of-year subject. in fact he said NOTHING at all… his year-end summary and crime stats were told in the less-then-15-minute-ending that occured after the crown left. but i’m sure shea hecht found the sham believable, because he wasen’t there! I’m not sure which of these is a greater mockery of the community?

  • 19. Not brought up on hate! wrote:

    I am thrilled that this site isn’t afraid to say the news as it is. I do think that we are causing some of our own problems. As long as we go to the NYPD and say that its a Jew versus Black thing – we are not coming from a position of strength. When law-abiding Jews (of ALL colors- look around- in many cases we are darker than them) team up with law-abiding Blacks to kick out the druggies, perps, robbers, murderers, etc. When we go to the NYPD together as the majority of crown heights- we will be listened to.

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