BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Dozens of Brooklynites gathered in Sheepshead Bay Tuesday and Wednesday nights to protect their neighborhood - part of a newly created civilian patrol who called their group "Defend South Brooklyn.”
What You Need To Know:
- Dozens of Brooklynites formed a civilian patrol group called Defend South Brooklyn.
- The group says the violent acts around the city prompted them to provide protection to their communities.
- Members walk commercial corridors, look for suspicious activity and monitor police scanners.
- Defend South Brooklyn concentrates its security efforts on Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Kings Highway.
Organizers say the violence across the city is what prompted them to act. While there were no major incidents in South Brooklyn, members decided to provide extra security to the community.
"People have been outside of their homes walking, looking for hidden weapons such as rocks inside of crates, gasoline containers and things of this nature,” said organizer Isaak Boltyansky. “Especially suspicious vehicles with no plates or no registration."
Commercial corridors including Brighton Beach Avenue, Sheepshead Bay Road and Kings Highway are among the areas the group is concentrating their efforts, members say.
"We hear what's happening over the scanners,” said organizer David Brodsky. “And if we hear something and somebody is in that local area and we have no reason to stay at home, we're more than comfortable jumping out of our pajamas and going out with whatever is needed."
Members do not carry any weapons but say their presence serves as a deterrent to criminals.
“By having over 500 pairs of eyes all over South Brooklyn we can immediately contact the NYPD. We could contact various neighborhood patrol groups in order to get their assistance as soon as possible,” said Boltyansky.
The group created a Facebook page called "Holding Down South Brooklyn" to help boost participation, provide updates to the community and reassure those worried about their property.
“We were able to give them a little peace of mind because a lot of the South Brooklyn community are veterans and Holocaust survivors. This is pretty scary stuff for them. So we feel like we built a lot of positive sentiment within our community especially with the elderly, the people who don't understand, the immigrants,” said Brodsky.
Defend South Brooklyn says even when the protests subside; they still plan to be a force in their neighborhood.