The NYPD announced last week that they formed a crime task force with Brooklyn clergy, meant to diminish gun and gang violence in the area.
The announcement was made last Wednesday, with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and pastors from 17 churches throughout Brooklyn joining together at Police Headquarters.
“We are here to send a message that we want to stop homicide, violence and shootings of any kind of people,” said Reverend Dan Craig of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brownsville, “but especially we want to speak out on black-on-black shooting, hurting and harming one another.”
Interestingly enough, not a single clergyman from community board five, comprising East New York, New Lots, City line and Cypress Hills, makes the list of participating churches.
Community Board 5 has had the most murders of any community district this past year, and in general its residents report experiencing great personal difficulty due to crime.
There is evidence that an uptick in crime taking a toll on the 75th precinct. Inspector Jeffrey B. Maddrey, at a Wednesday night community meeting, lamented the violence and urged community members to do everything they could to keep kids from the streets.
“We were doing well until September,” said Maddrey, after he explained that in the past month there have been five gun-related deaths. “I don’t know what happened. We need everybody’s help.”
The NYPD has declined to comment on the omission of community board five, and several pastors involved in the Task Force have failed to return messages left with their staff.
What do you think? Does the omission of East New York seem destined to adversely impact the efficacy of the program here?