The 69th Precinct Community Council held their first meeting of the year on Tuesday, January 30th, at the Hebrew Educational Society (H.E.S.), 9502 Seaview Avenue, where several awards were presented to dedicated officers and the NYC Public Advocate was the special guest speaker.
On the same day that the City Council overrode Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of the controversial “How Many Stops Act,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a supporter of the Intro 586-A bill, attended the monthly council meeting.
Williams said he has been on a whirlwind tour, visiting community and police precinct meetings to correct some of the misinformation surrounding the bill.
The How Many Stops Act is a basic data collection tool that requires NYPD officers to document low-level interactions (Level 1 and Level 2 investigative stops) with civilians. The City Council contends that it will provide more transparency, critical to community trust, while Adams believes it will decrease the safety of New Yorkers and the additional reporting will waste officers’ time, which could be better spent patrolling our streets.
Williams told attendees that when Stop, Question and Frisk was used over a decade ago, it was a tool that every officer needed to do their job if there was reasonable suspicion that could lead to a frisk and a search if there was probable cause. “However, when quotas were added, it became abusive,” he said. Eventually, everyone agreed that there was abuse because of the data provided. Consequently, a judge ruled that some of the stops were unconstitutional and later reports verified that there was an increase in stops and about 25% of those stops were unconstitutional.
Williams believes it is necessary to try to get information about some of those Level 1 stops that we don’t currently have information for while having the least impact on our law enforcement officers. He clarified that this is not for officers who are giving directions or going into a bodega to inquire if everything is okay but rather encounters that are investigatory by nature. “This bill is not for general casual conversation. We made this as clear as possible in the bill,” he said. “We are hoping now that we have overwritten the veto that there is a discussion about how to implement this.”
Officers Daniel Irving and Shirley Pena were presented with November Cop of the Month awards for their bravery in recovering a loaded firearm on November 24th. Captain Dion Hinds, commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, said the two apprehended an individual who was carrying a 9mm firearm, with one round in the chamber and eight loose rounds. When the officers approached him around 7:10 p.m., Hinds said the individual grabbed his waistband and fled. The officers chased the perpetrator on foot, apprehending him in the rear of 716 East 79th Street. While fleeing, he tossed the gun, which was recovered in front of 707 East 78th Street.
For the December Cop of the Month award, Officers Courtney Murphy and Mohammed Rahman were recognized for apprehending two individuals, ages 14 and 15, who were involved in a car theft on December 31st. Fortunately, the stolen car had an Apple tag in the vehicle. Hinds said that the two officers followed the white BMW X4 into the 63rd Precinct where it collided with another patrol car. The brave officers apprehended the two youths, who traveled from New Jersey looking for vehicles to bring back to New Jersey to sell.
Although Captain Hinds has only been with the precinct for a few months, Council President Gardy Brazela said that the commanding officer has turned the precinct around during his short time here and it’s obvious he cares for the community.
Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Chief Charles McEvoy agreed that Hinds is doing a great job leading the 69th Precinct, thanking all the officers for their hard work reducing crime and violence during 2023. On behalf of the Community Council, McEvoy presented an award to Captain Hinds “in appreciation of his service to the Canarsie community, and dedication to the NYPD, 69th Precinct.”
NYPD 69th Precinct Explorer Kiara Bijoux was also honored and presented with a pin, acknowledging her promotion.
To show their appreciation for the community, the 69th Precinct is inviting older adults to a Valentine’s Elegant Dinner on Saturday, February 17th, at Holy Family Gym, 9719 Flatlands Avenue (entrance on Conklin Avenue) from 3 to 7 p.m.
The next meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27th, at the H.E.S.