As the weather warms, so does the heat of gun violence and crime as statistics climb across the City, and the 63rd Precinct was no exception as was discussed at their Community Council meeting held on Wednesday, May 25th.
“Crime is up in the 63rd Precinct for the recent 28-day period — year-to-date, we’re pretty much up in every crime category,” Deputy Inspector Genevieve Isom said. “All of the commands in Brooklyn South are seeing an increase so there’s nothing unusual here.”
Gun violence was the number one issue for the 63rd Precinct. Isom reported that 12 shots were fired on East 58th Street, between Avenues J and K, at 7:30 a.m. that morning, with two rounds going through a second-floor window.
The precinct was given some additional resources with three extra cars every night starting at 8:30 p.m., and the extra manpower will be deployed to the areas of Utica, Flatlands and in and around Glenwood where there was also a shooting.
There are some new recruits who are in their second month now and are rotating to different platoons. The neighborhood and youth coordinating officers are going to be out in the street more, doing car stops because the community has been complaining about traffic violations, temporary and bogus plates. In one stop, a car was found to have a gun in the glove compartment.
Isom also addressed the continual problem of abandoned cars, stating that her hands are tied because she can’t keep up with the quantity of cars. There are only two outside tow truck operators they can use, and there is no space for all the cars in the storage lots.
Resident Steve Smith aired his frustrations and talked about a car on East 54th Street and Avenue K that had been sitting at a hydrant for months. He called 311 and was told in two hours that it was resolved, but nothing happened and the car was still there. He was told that out-of-state plates can’t be ticketed either.
“I shouldn’t have to come to this meeting to express to you this sheer nonsense,” Smith said. “I pay $9,000 a year in taxes and I have to deal with abandoned cars, scooters running around, no license plates, donuts in front of my house — it’s ridiculous.”
Smith also brought up the issue of dollar vans parked on Avenue K with paper plates and what happens if you are in an accident with one because police won’t take a report unless someone is hurt or injured.
Councilwoman Farah Louis announced that she met as a council at a Democratic conference that day to have a conversation about abandoned vehicles, trailers, trucks, etc. and said that they will be voting soon on a bill in the NYS Senate to increase fines.
“The issue of abandoned vehicles is a state issue,” she said. “It’s happening everywhere; it’s not just the 63rd Precinct, but all over the country and in NYC.” She said that extra help has to come from the Federal government, but Smith could come to her office if he is still having a problem as they enlist Sanitation to help.
Craig Thomas, who lives around East 51st Street, wanted to know what could be done about the signs everywhere and was told that they are illegal and if there is anything on a telephone pole, they can be ripped down.
He also had a complaint about Bellyful Restaurant and Bar located on Utica Avenue, between Avenues M and N. “Every summer, on Friday night at eight o’clock, they blast the music all the way to two o’clock in the morning,” he said. He added that it’s not fair to residents who have to work the next morning and calls to 311 are no help.
“I know that the only way 311 works is if you are the squeaky wheel,” said Community Council President Greg Borruso. “The more calls that are made to it, the more response is put on it.” He also said to keep coming to the meetings as the best way to get results because you then have the opportunity to talk to the police officers.
He talked about the challenges that police officers have to do their jobs because there are legalities involved. It used to be very cut and dried, but now there’s a lot of gray areas.
“I can tell you that I work with the officers in the 63rd Precinct and when there’s an issue, they are doing the best that they can,” Borruso said.
Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow gave updates on Power Playground and Sunners Playground, which are both getting makeovers. She reported that Amersfort Park’s fountain has been cleaned and should be working shortly.
There will be a Health and Resource Fair in front of her office at 1097 Bergen Avenue on Sunday, June 12th. She also warned residents that July 5th begins pre-pandemic alternate side of the street parking and to be aware of the alternate side of the street parking signs after that date.
Inspector Jeff Zweig, representing the 63rd Precinct Auxiliary Police, announced that he is taking names for a new auxiliary training class.