Frustrated residents aired their concerns about the constant barrage of crimes that they perceived as happening after listening to the monthly crime report at the 63rd Precinct Community Council meeting held on Wednesday, October 26th at the John Malone Center.
Commanding Officer Captain Rachael Kosak reported that although robberies and burglaries were down, there were ongoing issues and advised residents to close and lock their windows. In addition, there were a few resolved shootings, including a homicide of a DOE employee with an arrest made, and a shooting at the Glenwood Houses the night before that is under investigation.
They identified 16 smoke shops that have popped up illegally, some selling unlicensed items such as marijuana products, untaxed cigarettes and edibles that look like candy. Police can go in for administrative reasons but enforcement mainly falls under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department.
Kosak announced that a new quarterly community CompStat forum, currently in a pilot phase, will be rolled out in the coming months. Meetings will be held virtually for about three hours with precinct commanders from Brooklyn South who will discuss issues in their command with police chiefs, what steps they have taken and how they work with other precincts and city agencies. “It’s an accountability measure for us,” she said, adding that community will also be included later.
Residents sounded skeptical of the plan and asked if it would really help or just add more burdens to the police who already have their hands tied due to the change in laws.
“The police department is trying as we’re all working under what the new laws are and we’re doing our best with that,” Kosak said.
She added that the forums will help with things she can’t get done and give her connections she doesn’t have. “This is going to link you as a community to the right agencies,” she said.
“People are fed up and they’re sick of it,” one resident said. “There are crimes that are happening because there’s no fear in the people committing the crimes.”
Another resident with four daughters spoke up about the role of elected officials. “The people currently in office in this city are destroying this city and that’s a fact,” he said.
In response, another attendee chimed in that it was also the responsibility of residents to let their elected officials know what is happening and praised the efforts of all those present who were there to help.
President of the 63rd Precinct Community Council Greg Borruso reminded residents that the meeting was not the place for results. “There’s a vote coming up in November and that’s where you voice your concerns.”
In response, State Senator Roxanne Persaud said that this didn’t happen overnight and she remembered when the youth in the community set fire to one of the vehicles because they were being told not to do certain things. The community reacted and became involved with the police, but they didn’t like involving the police department because the kids living here were the ones committing those crimes.
“These issues are the same, whether it’s about the laws now or the laws from 10 years ago,” she said. “We work with the NYPD because safety in the community is important to us.”
Assemblywoman Jaime Williams said their concerns were valid and they have to work together to address them.
“When we first passed the bail reform in 2019, I voted against that because I knew that it wasn’t something good,” Williams said. “Legalization of marijuana, I voted against it.”
She talked about some of the changes to the law and how this year, it’s coming up again. “Is it a perfect system?” she asked. “No, it’s not,” she replied, “I think it needs to be revised and needs to be revisited because we can’t afford to have people commit crimes and then be out the next day.”
Cop of the Month awards for September were presented to Officers Proietti and Molina who responded quickly to shots fired near the South Shore Educational Campus. They apprehended the perpetrator and recovered the firearm in his possession.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 30th at 7 p.m. at the Flatlands Reformed Church, located at 3931 Kings Highway.