Saturday, July 14, 2007

Reaching out to the should be a lot easier to do from now on

Several people have posted comments about ways in which the PLG community can reach out to members of the 71st Precinct (and specifically to the family of PO Russel Timoshenko, who remains on life support at the Kings County Hospital Center). There are several community members in touch with Officer Martinos, the 71st's community liaison; as soon as there's information about a fund set up, I'll post that info.

In the meantime, everyone can do little things -- like tell cops patrolling the streets that their work is appreciated and how much their presence means to us. I've made it a habit of talking to cops whenever I see them (and almost all of the time it's not due to my being in some sort of trouble). It can seem surprising at first how much the guys on foot patrol respond to this...but on reflection it makes perfect sense. Cops are used to having people treat them as bad news; as an added bonus, during the summer they're stuck wearing multiple layers of clothing (and oftentimes bulletproof vests) in tropical heat. A little positive human interaction can go a long way.

If you do decide to chat up some of the boys in blue, you shouldn't have a hard time finding them: last night at midnight, I could 11 cops on Flatbush between Empire and Maple, which works out to approximately one cop per .002 miles. The heightened level of traffic stops, particularly in the Lincoln-Lefferts-Washington-Flatbush triangle, has also been hard to miss.

This could very well be an example of the NYPD's "Compstat on Steroids program, where 1,000 rookie officers have been teamed up with 200 vets and struck out on foot patrols in particularly sticky areas, some of which can be as small as a specific building. The sudden influx is fairly obviously a response to last Sunday's shooting; it'll be interesting to see how long it stays operative for.

Other local reports appear to show that this effort could be aimed at a significantly larger swath -- perhaps even going all the way to Grand Army Plaza. Two nights ago there was a significant drug bust down in Prospect Heights (GMAP) that has resulted in plenty of local chatter.

1 comment:

Bob Marvin said...

Someone on the Lefferts Yahoo List suggested that "perhaps tonight we could bring cards, etc. to the Precinct at 7:30pm for a brief gathering to acknowledge this young man's life and to recognize the work of the colleagues he left behind." I think that's a very good idea--maybe we should also bring candles.