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MSCC MEETING MINUTES FOR January 26, 2021

(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, January 26, 2021

SUMMARY

Most of the discussion centered around the shelter hotels on 36th Street and the Times Square Hotel incidents among residents.

CHAIRPERSON: John Mudd

POLICE PRECINCT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Detective Thomas Byrne: Assault up 27%, burglary up 53%, robbery up 100%, grand larceny down because no bars or restaurants open where tourists leave handbags, etc., on backs of chairs, etc. Difference between burglary (from the property) and robbery (from the person), Call Detective Byrne and 911 for issues. 

GUEST SPEAKER: No guest speaker was present

COMMUNNITY CONCERNS

Hotel Shelter on 36th Street

  • Brian Weber: Clean up on 36th and 37th has improved, needs Detective Byrne’s contacts
  • John Mudd: Block clustering improved when shelter moved away four blocks to 40th street, and colder whether moved in
  • Brian: some longterm scaffolding was removed on 36th Street, leading to the block’s visual improvement
  • Brian: said we need a game plan rather than having to call 911 for each issue and crisis
  • Ann and Brian spoke about the issues before the shelter was moved from The DoubleTree  Hotel, but the dealers remain on 36th street, where people know to come for their needs
  • Detective Thomas Byrne: City pulled DHS out of shelters?
  • Jennifer is pleased that this meeting calls things out where others don’t. The same problems are all over the city 
  • Brian has contacted every elected official during the worst times on 36th street. Brian is pleased that midtown south listens to the community, whereas he has found in the past others have not 
  • John Mudd: suggests the NCO reps for 36th and 8th Ave zone be at the next Council meeting
  • Leslie Boghosian Murphy asked for the difference between arrest-able and non-arrestable offenses. Detective Byrne responded that all dealing is arrest-able. Detective Byrne also outlined that the narcotics team (in plain clothes) on 9th Ave continue to arrest dealers. As a result of the recent protests in NYC, the NYPD were directed to wear uniforms for their own and community safety. They have not yet been directed otherwise at the moment 
  • Owen: The issue is how pop-up shelters are not managed as well as others
  • Leslie Boghosian Murphy: Permanent shelters are managed well, temporary ones are not managed as effectively
  • Brian: What can the community request to help the NYPD?
  • Detective Byrne will seek advice from foot police to see what they need and how the community can help them.
  • John Mudd: we need to bring providers together in a meeting to see what support our community can offer
  • Ty saw the effects of crime increase when the anti-crime unit was taken out of the city. Can we ask if this can be added back?
  • Ann: The reason why people moved to shelters was for COVID reasons. Now the vaccine is available: 1. What is the plan for vaccinating, and 2. What is the plan for the pop-up shelters after vaccination? 
  • Maria: Services and tele-health available but not optimal. Vaccination sites are in each borough but still being distributed. Seniors who are in the congregate setting are the main priority for receiving vaccinations. No other plan yet.
  • Brian: Reasons for our ongoing issues are related to the illegal activity in hotel shelters and the congregation of people coming together because of the many temporary shelters. Congregation of shelters together do not set up NYPD and shelters for success. It’s best not to open shelters next to each other. Too much to ask a shelter to operate effectively with a lack of planning
  • Brian: Black Vets operating effectively at the Watson in CB4, but on 36th street, there are still areas needing improvement
  • Ann pointed out our homeless people are being preyed upon. Ann cited successful examples such as St Annes, which has been operating since the 1980s 
  • Brian: Issues across the city, 36th street has been a problem, writing to Governor Cuomo regarding 2017 Turning the Tide to spread the housing across the five boroughs. This has not happened 
  • Serge and Jennifer: summed up the holistic problem and the need for the community to work together
  • Brian: ensure the safety of everyone is the initial step

Times Square Hotel Incidents

  • Abraham Lincoln: issue with assault with 5 to 10 tenants, Complaint number 6898, November 2, 2020. Detective Byrne will follow up. 

ACTIONS

  1. Call for a hotel shelter provider meeting
  2. Tools community can help NYPD with
  3. Detective Byrnes to speak to foot officers regarding needs on the street
  4. Serge writing to Governor Cuomo about conditions
  5. Inquire about vaccination program in shelters 
  6. Detective Byrnes to follow up on assault, Complain number 6898.

ATTENDEES

MTS Precinct

MSCC Board

Officials

Community Members

Other