The increased presence of NYPD officers in Brooklyn’s “Jewish neighborhoods” is only one of myriad elements in a new plan introduced by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio intended to combat hate and anti-Semitism.
“Diversity is our strength, and we respect the traditions of all who call New York City home,” the mayor said at a weekend briefing laying out the plan. “Intolerance will never take hold here.”
Here are the elements of the plan, and how they break down in terms of geographic location and function.
• Increasing Neighborhood Safety Coalitions
The new NSCs are multi-ethnic interfaith groups that will launch in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park, under the supervision/direction of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. They will:
1. Bring a physical presence in their neighborhoods with “safety walks” and corner watches, and
2. Identify and offer programs within their neighborhoods designed to foster community, connect directly with local youth in and after school hours, promote tolerance, break down stereotypes.
3. Identify and address issues that drive hate-based crimes.
4. Bring together stakeholders from across their communities.
5. Meet with community members at schools, on street corners, in religious institutions, in order to be a regular “presence” to deter acts of hate.
6. Gather regularly to strategize about ways to interrupt hate acts before they take place.
• Increasing NYPD presence
The NYPD will increase patrols and “resources” to precincts in the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Borough Park, Crown Heights, Midwood and Williamsburg.
1. There will be an additional four to six officers on each tour of duty in each of the above-targeted precincts.
2. NYPD will increase its presence at houses of worship, and also during local events.
3. Six new light towers are to be posted in Borough Park.
4. Additional security cameras are to be installed throughout the above-referenced neighborhoods; 15 light towers have already been installed as of Dec. 30 2019.
• New Dept. of Ed. lesson plans & curriculum
The department will implement hate crime awareness programming in January 2020 for middle and high schools in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park. The programming will include:
1. Workshops with community partners
2. Leveraging existing social studies curricula and resources
3. Curriculum on hate crimes to be launched at middle and high schools to begin in 2020-2021
4. Curriculum resources also to be made available to middle and high schools citywide
5. Resources will be distributed by the DOE citywide to facilitate important classroom conversations in January
6. The Annual “Respect for All” Week in February will focus on preventing and addressing hate crimes
7. Schools to be encouraged to develop opportunities for students to discuss how discrimination and religious intolerance might look in a school, and explore positive actions they can take to promote acceptance, inclusion and diversity of their communities.
• Citywide Advertising Campaign
A series of citywide advertising and social media campaigns are to be launched, highlighting New York’s diversity and encouraging respect for all communities.
“The NYPD stands with members of the Jewish community. We will continue our increased patrols and the targeted deployment of Counterterrorism officers at key locations to ensure that everyone is safe,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told journalists.
“We also need the public’s help—if you see anything suspicious, call 911 or flag down a police officer right away. There is no place for hate in NYC, or anywhere.”