Tired of feeling unsafe in your own neighborhood? From 5-7pm next Wednesday, October 9 (rain date October 10), join neighbors at PS 92’s Parkside Playground (entrance on Winthrop Street between Bedford and Rogers Avenues) and help raise awareness about the effect of gun violence on 70th and 71st Precinct communities. Tim Thomas of The Q at Parkside, an organizer of the event who has long been outspoken about gun violence in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, says:
Bring checkers; bring dinner; bring a basketball; bring your kids; bring a jump rope; bring a guitar; bring your congas; bring a jacket; bring a non-alcoholic beverage; bring your general dismay that street crews have made it impossible to feel totally safe on our streets and even in our parks and goodness gracious even our playgrounds…
New approaches, from direct communication with young people, to community centers, to after-school programs, to beat cops who understand their neighborhood, to better gang infiltration and an understanding of crew dynamics, to working with landlords to evict repeat offenders, to proactive measures like better lighting and cameras and locking playgrounds at night and better enforcement of quality of life crimes – these we ask in the spirit of cooperation to bring down crime and make the area safer for ALL neighborhood residents.
Shootings close to the playground include a February 14 Church Avenue incident in which a 59-year-old man was hit in the leg, and one on September 9 in which a man was hit in the stomach and a woman was struck by a car at Caton and Argyle Roads.
While CompStat reports for both the 70th and 71st Precincts show significant drops in shootings over the last 20 years, they also both show a resurgence of incidents between last year and this one (Year to Date numbers for the 70th show 17 shooting incidents in 2013 compared to 10 in 2012, and 20 in 2013 compared to 18 in 2012 for the 71st).
So like Tim says–bring family and dinner, meet neighbors, and help change the disturbing trend of gun violence in our area from the inside out.