COPS: CROSS WITH CARE
Bushwick Warned On Traffic After Several Pedestrians Hit
Following a recent weekend in which eight pedestrians were injured in vehicular accidents in Bushwick, police warned residents at the 83rd Precinct Community Council's June 17 meeting to exercise caution when crossing streets and to monitor children playing in open fire hydrants.
P.O. Stacy Cubells of the 83rd Precinct Highway Safety Unit informed attendees during last Tuesday's session at the Bushwick stationhouse that the victims, ranging in age from four to 45, were struck by vehicles between Friday, June 6 and Sunday, June 8 at locations scattered throughout the community.
"It's a concern to the community and the precinct alike," she said.
Officer Cubells distributed pamphlets to residents urging them to remember the old adage and "cross at the green, not in between" vehicles along local streets. She also urged parents and others in the community to protect children trying to beat the summer heat by playing in water from open fire hydrants.
Officers from the 83rd Precinct's Youth Unit have also visited local schools to inform children to take extra precautions while playing during the summer recess, Cubells noted. P.O. Damarys Franco of the Community Affairs Unit added that letters have also been sent to area block organizations urging them to use cones or other visual aids to help alert drivers to slow down near areas where children are playing.
The subject of open fire hydrants also led some in attendance to discuss related problems. Maritza Davila of the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council noted that a number of complaints have been levied to local merchants associations by shopkeepers who claim that the open hydrants nearby have led to a drop in business.
She asked if there was any way to better control the use of fire hydrants without taking away from local children's playing time.
Officer Franco stated that the Department of Environmental Protection has distributed a number of sprinkler caps to block associations throughout the area. The caps provide a controlled stream of water to flow out of the hydrants when opened, rather than heavy rushes of water from uncapped devices.
Police noted that approximately 25 hydrants in the Bushwick area have been fitted with the sprinkler caps. Brooklyn Community Board 4 District Manager Nadine Whitted stated that more will be needed to help conserve water and keep children safe while staying cool.
Franco stated that the precinct will contact the DEP to request additional sprinkler caps. She also urged residents to turn off uncapped hydrants that are observed open "excessively" or to call 311 to have it shut down.
In the meantime, Whitted noted, the DEP's Hydrant Education Action Team (HEAT) is working with the RBSCC to educate area youths on how to use fire hydrants properly.
Cuts lead to early closure
While the Hope Gardens Community Center is sponsoring a summer camp program that is booked solid for the season, the center's director informed residents that the facility's hours of operation have been cut back due to budget cuts.
Anita Haynes stated that the New York City Housing Authority has reduced funding for the center located at 422 Central Ave., which normally provides activities to children well into evening hours each day. As a result, she stated, the community center must close its doors at 5 p.m. daily, leaving many children to fend for themselves after that time.
"I've been there 23 years [and this is] the first time with cuts that the center won't be open" beyond 5 p.m., Haynes said, observing that children will encounter a problem finding safe, supervised things to do during evening hours beginning in July.
"There's nothing we can do," the center's director added. "The city just doesn't have the money" to support a prolonged program.
News of the reduction will be "devastating" for Bushwick's children, noted Community Council President Barbara Smith, adding that many won't have anywhere to go during evening hours.
All ranking officer positions on the community council will be up for grabs during elections scheduled to take place at the council's September meeting, announced Officer Franco.
Nominations for the positions of president, vice president, corresponding secretary, recording secretary, treasurer and sergeant at-arms will be accepted prior to the vote at the session. Residents 18 years of age or older who attended at least three council meetings in the last year will be eligible to vote and/or seek office.
Deputy Inspector Bambury praised the efforts of the current community council members, noting that they especially work diligently during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to help those less fortunate in the community have a more enjoyable holiday season.
Whitted also offered praise for the community council, hailing them as "unsung heroes" in the Bushwick community for their volunteer efforts.
The community council is currently comprised of President Barbara Smith, Vice President Lydia Mendoza, Recording Secretary Victoria Hernandez, Corresponding Secretary Vicente Trinidad, Treasurer Avellar Hansley and Sergeantat arms Edward Korman.
The 83rd Precinct Community Council has not scheduled a meeting during July and August. Their next session will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the stationhouse located on Knickerbocker Avenue and Bleecker Street.
For more information, call the Community Affairs Unit at 1- 718-574-1697.
Post new comment