EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Promises Brownsville Almost $9 Million In Wake Of Mass Shooting

Mayor Bill de Blasio flanked by Commissioner James O’Neill seek answers on the shooting that killed a man and wounded 11. Todd Maisel/Bklyner

BROWNSVILLE – Mayor de Blasio will announce today almost $9 million in new funding to support anti-violence initiatives in Brownsville in response to the mass shooting during the Old Timers Day event on July 27th.  The family-friendly event had for decades peacefully celebrated community’s elders, but a shooting this year left one neighbor dead and 11 others with gunshot injuries.

“We will do everything in our power to keep this community safe and get guns off our streets,” de Blasio said the morning after, while flanked by NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill and numerous community leaders. He said there were more than 100 police officers on site of the festival, but the shooting still occurred.

Today the Mayor is putting money behind his words, expanding services supported by the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (MAP) in the wake of the violence.

Old Timers Day turned into a gun battle as rival gangs fought a gun battle at the Brownsville event. Todd Maisel/Bklyner.

“Our hearts ache for Brownsville; but this community will be defined by resilience, not tragedy,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These programs will build on our commitment to end the epidemic of gun violence and lend much needed support to the local leaders and activists who work to bring positive, enduring change to the Brownsville community each and every day.“

Here is how the $8.58 million are to be spent:

Capital Improvements: $5.34 Million

Just over $5 million will go to renovate the Brownsville Houses Community Center. Another $140,000 has been allocated for new NYPD security cameras and public lighting around the Brownsville Playground. The city promises to install the lights by December 2019, and two new cameras have already been installed by the NYPD with more to come by the end of the year.

Community Services: $3.24 Million

An additional $3.24 million will go to existing community-building efforts. According to the Mayor’s office:

    • $1 million in annual funding will go to expand the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence’s successful Crisis Management System violence disruption program in Brownsville’s 73rd Precinct.
    • $1 million will go to to the Department of Health’s Brooklyn
      Neighborhood Health Action Center (NHAC) to plan, prepare, and respond to incidents and systemic crises, including community violence, extreme weather, and environmental hazards, such as fires and building collapses.
  •  $590,000 is set aside for Brownsville Neighborhood YouthStat, which trains young people in community organizing and engagement, peacemaking, and crime prevention through environmental design, and a suite of mental health and trauma response skills.
  • $175,000 is to be used for the Mobile Trauma Unit in 73rd Precinct. MTUs are vans assigned to individual precincts that provide access to available trauma resources and coordinate services following crises. This funding would expand its capacity.
  • $576,000 to hire 12 additional staff for the Brownsville Recreation Center to provide additional recreational programming, expanded pool operating hours, and additional security.

Councilmember Inez Barron is glad that gun violence is being treated as a health crisis by the city, with funds allocated to it; and that additional resources are being directed to engage youth, and to fund those who have proven track record of reducing gun violence.

“I am pleased to acknowledge and support the Mayor’s additional funding to the Brownsville community,” she said in a statement. “This initiative is a much needed response to conditions in the neighborhood that are manifestations of longstanding circumstances and systemic oppression which have negatively impacted the social dynamics of our community.  We look forward to further improvements, initiatives and job opportunities to help restore our neighborhoods.”

“Brownsville has had its share of challenges over the years but continued to remain resilient through it all.  The mass shooting on July 27th shook us to our core and was evidence of the need for funding resources,” said Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel.  “I’m glad the voices of the community are being heard and those doing the work will get the support needed on the ground.”

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Liena Zagare

Editor of Bklyner.com. Tips? Complaints? Suggestions? Email me at Liena@bklyner.com.

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