On Sept 15, 2015 block residents Randy L., Katherine C, and Megan H., Tim T. and business owners/managers Ray R.(Iron Bar) and Peter M. (Beer Culture) took time out of their evening to attend the Midtown North precinct community meeting. They spoke calmly, factually, passionately and persuasively about the rise in crime this summer centering around the Aladdin homeless shelter on our block, including the recent stabbing, fights, breaking and entering, knocking down pedestrians, chasing women down the sidewalk, menacing business employees and patrons, menacing and intimidating passersby on the sidewalk, drug sales in the Aladdin (including reports from Aladdin security officers themselves), drug and alcohol use right outside the Aladdin (with the knowledge and even participation of Aladdin security), public urination and indecent exposure, and littering on the sidewalks and flower beds. The testimony of these residents and business managers, individually and collectively, was incredibly powerful--you could see there were a lot of concerned community leaders and cops in that room, from the Commanding Officer (Inspector Hart) on down to the various Lieutenants, Detectives, Community Officers and patrol officers.
After the meeting we were approached by the civilian leadership of the Community Council--they are influential neighborhood leaders and were very sympathetic to our situation and wanted to learn more. The secretary of these monthly meetings said that in all the years he has been taking notes he's never heard anything so alarming as what he heard that night about the Aladdin. Inspector Hart pledged to devote more police resources to our block and a couple high-ranking police officers in attendance personally pledged to solve these problems.
To the Midtown North Precinct, the Community Council for providing the forum, and to those who served their community by coming out and speaking up--THANK YOU!!! It's amazing how much can be accomplished when you speak to the right people in the right places. It's been a rough summer and while we're not going to solve these problems overnight, things are already better and will continue to get better.