Bergen Beach Civic Association holds awards ceremony at Hudson River Yacht Club
Acting DA Eric Gonzalez helps with installation of officers and board
On Tuesday, May 30, the Bergen Beach Civic Association (BBCA) held its annual awards ceremony and installation of officers at the Hudson River Yacht Club. The evening brought out a distinguished group of elected officials and community leaders including Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, state Sen. Roxanne Persaud, Councilmember Alan Maisel, former Councilmember Lewis Fidler, Judge Mark Partnow and his wife Sue Ann, Millennium Development Executive Director Paul Curiale and Rev. Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi of St. Bernard in Mill Basin.
BBCA President Michael Benjamin welcomed the guests and immediately called Gonzalez up to address the audience. Gonzalez introduced himself and said he was there to share some good news. “Brooklyn continues to become a place where you can raise a family and you can feel safe. It gets safer each and every year,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said that thanks to measures he’s implanted, “Last year we ended 2016 with one of the safest years in Brooklyn’s history in terms of violent crimes. Burglaries were down 25 percent across the borough, shootings were at all-time low, shooting victims were at an all-time low and homicides were at the second-lowest level in the recorded history of Brooklyn. And more good news is that we’re doing even better this year.”
He said that at almost the halfway point of this year we have 20 percent less shooting victims than last year, less shooting incidents and we are doing better in homicides. Gonzalez said that there is still a lot of work to be done, but each community is benefitting from the record-low crime numbers.
Another area that Gonzalez is focusing on is the heroin epidemic in the borough. “We’ve lost three times the number of people who are overdosing on heroin than homicides during the last year.”
He said that one of the ways he is attacking this issue is by shutting down a $20 million operation that was operating out of Brownsville and a smaller multimillion dollar operation just a few weeks ago. Gonzalez’s goal is to take drug users out of the criminal justice system and get them the help they require with mental health experts.
Gonzalez praised the BBCA, saying that he was happy to be part of the installation of the officers because it’s civic organizations like the BBCA that mean a lot to the communities and make the borough a great place to live.
Benjamin asked Bergen Beach resident Judge Partnow to help with the installation of the new officers, who were sworn in by Gonzalez.
Awards were presented to three exemplary students for scholarship from three different schools in the community. The recipients were Joseph Donahoe from Intermediate School 78 Roy H. Mann, Angelo Consenzo from P.S. 312 and Julia Incondela from St. Bernard.
This year’s civic honorees were Alan Maisel, 63rd Precinct Commanding Officer Thomas Burke and his precinct, Angelisa Calise, Paul Curiale and Debbie Malone.