J’Ouvert 2018: Know Before You Go

The NYPD announced yesterday its plans to keep the public safe at this year’s J’Ouvert celebration, including the addition of another security checkpoint to offer attendees 13 entryways into the event.

Police checked bags and used hand-held metal detectors to search for weapons at J’Ouvert last year (Paul Stremple/BKLYNER)

Security precautions for the 2018 parade will be similar to last year’s, as announced earlier this month by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The event will once again begin at 6am on Labor Day as opposed to its previous 2am start time.

“We learned with last year’s success that each of us has the ability to make J’Ouvert a safe and highly enjoyable event,” Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement.

The formation area and parade route will be closed off to the public starting Sunday evening. The parade formation area is located on Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza down to Empire Boulevard. The parade route travels south on Flatbush Avenue, east on Empire Boulevard, then turns south onto Nostrand Avenue and finishes at Rutland Road.

Following last year’s long lines at the entry points, an extra police checkpoint has been added for this year’s event. Light towers will illuminate the 13 entry points, up from 12 last year, along the two-mile parade route. Uniformed officers will screen parade-goers for weapons and alcohol.

Attendees should travel light as they will be prohibited from entering with any large bags or backpacks. High-resolution security cameras will also be used to monitor for any unsafe activity.

Crowds waiting to gain entry to the 2017 parade route on Flatbush Ave (Paul Stremple/BKLYNER)

The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence will also have “violence interrupters” and community partners circulating throughout the event to “preempt and resolve any conflicts that may arise.”

“The community has a vital role to play to make this J’Ouvert the safest and most enjoyable event possible,” Eric Cumberbatch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence said. “We know that local leaders will be intensely focused on ensuring that the festivities remain a positive experience for everyone.”

“J’Ouvert is one of the most vibrant cultural celebrations in our city, and we’re working with the community to make the festivities enjoyable for all,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “In the safest big city in America, no one should have to choose between ensuring their safety and celebrating their heritage.”

The Caribbean Day celebration attracts thousands to Crown Heights and Flatbush each year. The NYPD beefed up security last year after four people were shot, two fatally, during the event in 2016.

 

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Pamela Wong

Pam was a staff reporter at Bklyner, covering North-Western parts of Brooklyn between 2016 and 2019. She also writes about art at arthag.typepad.com.

Comments

  1. I live two miles from the J’Ouvert route and the event isn’t until early-Monday. Yet there were spotlights on my block last night and they will be lit nightly for days. Frankly, it feels like a police state.

  2. If there’s less violence this year then that’s cool. If it’s the same madness from years past…they need to cancel the event!…PERIOD!!! There are islanders I work w/that don’t attend because of the violence/public destruction!

  3. Lights still on last night, fourth night in a row for an event held for a few (mostly daylight) hours on Monday morning.

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