WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
New Police Commissioner William Bratton is Showing Respect to Our Community
You should know, that the new administration at 1 Police Plaza, is showing great respect and a new sense of consideration for our community here in the South Bronx.
It is important for me to mention that on Monday, February 10, 2014, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and I sent a letter to the new Police Commissioner, the Honorable William Bratton, requesting a meeting.
The purpose of the request was to discuss what we believe is an injustice done to the residents of the Bronx, especially those residing in the area of the 41st Precinct, where crimes committed in Queens County are being applied to Bronx County, therefore increasing the crime statistics in the Bronx and decreasing the crime statistics in Queens.
You should know that this outrageous and unfair situation where crimes committed in Rikers Island, which is located in Queens, are being applied to the 41st Precinct located on Longwood Avenue in the South Bronx, has been amply documented and explained in the New York Daily News by Denis Slattery and other reporters.
We have been questioning ourselves why it is that the residents of the South Bronx have to carry the burden of seeing that their area’s crimes are increased, the insurance companies are increasing their rates and the South Bronx is being painted by everyone as a high crime area, while the area in Queens where Rikers Island is located is being painted like a crime-free zone.
For me, it was impressive to see how soon our request for the meeting with the Commissioner was responded to. It is a fact that in the previous administration, my requests and letters were very, very, rarely responded to.
To the credit of the new administration at 1 Police Plaza, the timing in which the letter was responded to took me by surprise. On Friday, April 4, 2014, the Honorable William Bratton sent to my Bronx Office, a delegation to meet with Assemblyman Crespo and myself. That delegation was composed of the Assistant Commissioner for Office Management, Analysis and Planning, Ronald J. Wilhelmy, the Assistant Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs, Susan Petito, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Dermot Shea, the Deputy Inspector for Crime Analysis and Planning, Raymond Martinez and Ariana W. Caplan, State Legislative Affairs from the Mayor’s Office.
The interest shown by the Commissioner by sending this delegation of high ranking members of the Police Department to come to the South Bronx to try to find solutions to these old inequities that have been facing the residents of the area where the 41st Precinct is located, merits praise and thanks for their attention to this long-standing issue.
It is important to know that crimes in the Bronx have been decreasing. But as long as crimes committed in Queens County are being applied to Bronx County, it is prejudicial not only to the residents of the 41st Precinct, but to every resident of Bronx County.
I know and you should know that there is no easy solution, and that this problem will not be fixed by a snap of the fingers. But to know that the new Police Commissioner and his administration are taking notice and paying attention and working together with us to try to find a solution, it is refreshing, it is admirable, and it is exciting.
I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.