Coney Island

Treyger demands de Blasio hire 1,000 more cops

Councilmember speaks out in wake of Coney Island shootings

June 17, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Mark Treyger. Photo courtesy of Treyger’s office
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In the wake of a series of shootings in Coney Island, Councilman Mark Treyger called on the de Blasio Administration to hire 1,000 additional police officers to patrol city streets.

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said Mayor Bill de Blasio should include funding in his executive city budget to allow the New York Police Department (NYPD) to hire 1,000 cops to be deployed in Coney Island and other areas with incidents of gun violence.

Treyger also renewed a call he had previously made for the NYPD to bring the ShotSpotter technology to Coney Island.

In a June 2 letter to Police Commissioner William Bratton, Treyger requested that the 60th Precinct, which covers Coney Island, be included in the precincts where ShotSpotter is used.

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ShotSpotter, which uses technology and real-time data to immediately notify police of incidents of shots being fired in its coverage area, has been deployed in high-crime areas of Brooklyn and the Bronx as part of a pilot program.

“It is clear that the city and NYPD must step up its efforts to combat this growing problem and take immediate steps to reduce gun violence in Coney Island,” Treyger said in a statement. “I am urging Commissioner Bratton to expand the department’s use of this proven technology so that we get a clearer and fuller picture of the violence that is plaguing this community and so that police can immediately respond when a shooting does occur.”

Treyger said ShotSpotter is valuable because it can help reduce police response times to the scenes of shootings while at the same time provide the city with an accurate picture of the number of shootings that actually occur in a specific community. The technology is also capable of pinpointing neighborhood hotspots where the majority of shooting incidents take place.

As of June 7, there had been six shooting incidents in the 60th Precinct, a slight increase from last year, according to Treyger who cited NYPD statistics.

However, Treyger also said that he has heard numerous reports from local residents who told him about other shootings that did not result in a person struck and were not included in NYPD crime reports.

There were at least two shooting incidents during the weekend of June 13-14, as well as one on June 12 near the Searise apartments at Neptune Avenue and West 36th Street in which no one was struck, Treyger said.

On Sunday afternoon, a 68-year-old man and an 18-year-old man were shot near 2750 Neptune Ave., less than a block from a middle school and a public park.

“I am very concerned about the rise in shootings in Coney Island and across the city, as well as the many incidents that do not go reported in official NYPD statistics,” Treyger said. “Bringing ShotSpotter technology and additional officers to the 60th Precinct will help the NYPD finally hold accountable the few individuals who are causing distress in our community.”

In his letter to Commissioner Bratton, Councilman Treyger expressed concern with the impact that shootings are having on the law-abiding residents of Coney Island and the need for additional police resources to combat the problem, particularly during the summer months.

On Monday, Treyger joined the Coney Island Anti-Violence Collaborative and residents at an anti-violence rally on Neptune Avenue and West 36th Street to demand immediate action from the city.

But de Blasio remained convinced that it’s not necessary to hire more cops.

“The first thing we have to think about is, can we get the job done right with the resources we have? If 2014 is any indication, the obvious answer is yes,” the mayor told WNYC’s Brian Lehrer during a radio interview, the New York Observer reported.“This police force is doing the job and doing it well with more tools, more technology, more training than even a year ago and I think they’re going to get better and better.”

A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) told the Brooklyn Eagle in an email that the de Blasio Administration will “continue to work with the council throughout the budget process.”

The OMB spokesperson also noted that overall crime is down in the city.

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