Senator Dilan Announces Successful Gun Buy Back Event Held in Cypress Hills

 Brooklyn—Yesterday more than 180 guns were taken off the streets as part of an annual gun buy back program in Cypress Hills.

Though successful, this year’s program was overshadowed by the unfortunate death of 22-year NYPD veteran, Peter Figoski.  Officer Figoski was tragically killed in the line of duty earlier in the week when he responded to a robbery in progress. The handgun used in the failed robbery would have amounted to roughly one-third of the $700 in drug money the perpetrators attempted to steal.

“In just the first two hours, over 70 handguns were relinquished to authorities. It is essential to have such events to bolster safer streets in our communities. By removing as many guns from our streets as possible through this Gun Buy Back Program, we are taking a step in the right direction,” said Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Bushwick).

Senator Dilan joined with program co-sponsors Assemblymember Rafael Espinal, and Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan, as well as District Attorney Charles Hynes and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, during yesterday’s program at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Cypress Hills.

Each year the buy back program offers individuals the opportunity to turn in any type of gun for cash.  Those turning in handguns in operable condition received a $200 bankcard, while operable rifles or shotguns received a $20 bankcard. By the conclusion of yesterday’s event, 180 guns were collected. The weapons will be destroyed.

“It is apparent that the Gun Buyback Program is an effective way to get guns off the streets. Individuals can now purchase holiday gifts rather than holding dangerous weapons,” said Council Member Erik Martin Dilan (D-Bushwick).

“It’s a small price to pay for piece of mind,” said Assemblymember Rafael Espinal (D-Cypress Hills). “The community has had a heavy heart over the past couple of days, since the recent tragic event. It’s my hope that yesterday’s success can bring some closure.”

The success of the Gun Buyback Program has spurred plans to host similar events throughout Brooklyn. District Attorney Hynes has scheduled a Safe Surrender event in 2012, and talks are ongoing for additional neighborhood gun buyback programs.

“The large number of guns turned in yesterday shows that our communities support this program and want them to continue.  Every gun taken off the street is one less gun that can be in the hands of a criminal or accidentally end up in the hands of a child.  I applaud all of our partners in this initiative,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.

Also, the New York City Police Foundation and New York Post have created a fund to raise money for the higher education of Officer Figoski’s four daughters. Donations can be made directly to the Police Foundation Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund to the addresses below, or by credit-debit card at

Police Foundation Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund

c/o New York Post

PO Box 1013

New York, NY 10108

Police Foundation Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund

555 5th Ave.

15th Floor

New York, NY 10017