BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Bringing resources right to the community is one way to battle violence - that’s the goal of the Brownsville Safety Alliance.
What You Need To Know
- Brownsville Safety Alliance aims to offer community resources to reduce violence
- A resource event will be held on Mother Gaston Boulevard between Pitkins and Sutter Avenues until Saturday night
- So far this year, in the 73rd precinct there’s been a 110% increase in shooting victims
- The community says police can’t stop the violence alone
“They tell us this is one of the worst blocks in New York City,” said councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel, who represents the area. “Every single crime that you can think of happens right here in this two-block corridor. Everyone is out right now, here today and for the rest of the week letting the community know that we are here. There are people that love them and care and there are resources out here.”
Brownsville is located within the 73rd precinct. Last summer, NY1 did a series of reports on the community as the area dealt with a nearly 100% increase in shooting victims and more than 70% jump in murders.
The issues continue. So far this year according to NYPD stats, the number of people shot in the 73rd precinct is up 110% compared to last year at the same time.
Community groups, along with the local crisis management system teams say police can’t do it alone.
“We are the community so we are going to have to police ourselves eventually. And this is a great way to start,” said Dushoun “Bigga“ Almond of Brownsville In Violence Out.
The Brownsville Safety Alliance pulls officers off of foot patrol on a two-block stretch of Mother Gaston Boulevard between Pitkins and Sutter Avenues.
For the week, instead of the police, the communities receive youth, housing and employment service - even COVID-19 testing is done and a mobile shower vehicle is here.
Church groups are also participating by giving out food.
“Our job is to work with the community, to help them uplift themselves to bring in resources that are not here so that they can function as healthy and whole as possible. We want to rebuild families,” explained Mary Washington, a former parole officer and a member of the Church of God of East Flatbush.
Brownsville resident Delores Redd was excited to see resources in the neighborhood.
“It benefits everybody, you just have to see these tables and utilizing it,” she said. “See where they could help you, there’s plenty of information. If it can’t help you, it may help a family member, somebody.”
Those who have been involved in violence and have actually done jail time say initiatives like this can change lives and even save lives.
“One of my charges was due to gun violence,” said James Williams, of Exodus Transitional Community. “Had I known about a lot of the resources out here, I would’ve taken another route. So, if they see me and I can change, I know they will be able to change.”
Exodus Transitional Community assists with housing for people in crisis, including individuals coming out of prison.
Cops and community groups hope the message of change comes across loudly and clearly leading to a reduction in violence this year.
The Brownsville Safety Alliance resource event will occur every day this week through Saturday, May 1 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The first safety alliance week was held back in December. Officers and community groups said it was a success in providing help and decreasing the number of 911 calls made from the area during the week.