(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, John Mudd, Posted November 19, 2019
Inspector Brendan Timoney provided an update on crime statistics and news:
YTD, robberies were down 50% during last 28 days tracked. Additionally, Grand Larcenies were down 8%. There have been more slashing incidents recently that have been occurring on 8th avenue between 34-37 streets, so please be aware of that activity. Potential causes are drug usage. Inspector Timoney also spoke of recent burglary activity involving one male subject who was targeting hotels in the area. This subject has been arrested, and is no longer a threat to the community now. We were also briefed on the importance of paying attention to your surroundings, protecting your belongings while out shopping, i.e. ladies not leaving purses in carts or fitting rooms while out shopping as theft can occur quickly when not paying attention.
John Mudd reported that:
The progress of the MSCC and Community Court’s urban farm produced very little the first year because of the late start, he said sponsors are needed to support the project, and expects to do five times as much in product for 2020.
The McInnis House, Boston’s medical respite bed visit is officially scheduled for 10/24/19
The Street Sheets are progressing: layout is done, printed first draft, design is progressing, data collected, vetting information to ensure all contacts are credible and efficient. The street sheets are a list of shelters, food pantries, and other services for the homeless.
The Homeless and Housing meeting is on the first Tuesday of each month. The meeting is held at Urban Pathways, 575 Eighth Avenue at 9:30AM.
Swimming in Mudd (Show created by John Mudd) is scheduled for 10.19 so tickets are available if interested.
John Mudd said they are building a proposal and looking for locations for Automatic Public Toilets. The Gofundme Laundry for Kids has raised $4,546.00 and served 274 kids.
Trees for the Port Authority are scheduled for Monday, October 21, 2019.
John Mudd introduced the guest speaker(s): Kevin Jean Baptiste, Community Coordinator, Community Partnerships Unit, New York County District Attorney’s Office and Kelly Stankiewicz, Assistant DA, Crime Strategies Unit. No video was taken.
Kevin’s area encompasses the area from 14th Street to 59t Street, with 13, 10, 17th, MTS, and MTN precincts. Kevin’s role, Supervisor Community Engagement Coordinator, is to be engaged with community to develop events and programs and share information and resources. There are six coordinators that cover the city.
The DA’s office policy have shifted towards prevention rather than penalization. The DA office is reinvesting seized funds from banks and drug deals for projects/programs within communities which work toward prevention.
DA’s Programs and Initiatives
The DA’s office have several units to focus on various initiatives (units) which focus on domestic violence, child and elderly abuse… They also have a youth development and reentry team.
Youth and education team goes to community groups, particularly schools, to highlight and educate around subjects such as cyber bullying, teen dating, gun violence….
Free sports program for 11-18 year-olds, the program activates gyms that are not in use, particularly on Saturdays: when most youth seem to get into trouble.
Because not everyone liked sports, the Art of Healing was initiated. This initiated the art of healing that brings together several organization, music, visual, and creative arts using art as a method to heal, it is well attended by the youth.
The supervised release program, run by CJA criminal Justice Association, is, which connects a person with social worker to ensure return to court. This program existed for low level crimes before and now has been extended to felonies.
The reentry team, around since 2011, helps to provide people (mostly violent felons) coming out from being incarcerated with ID, benefits, job, housing, etc. to function in society. Objective is to keep them from going back into the penal system. The felons are often under 25 years of age.
Kelly Stankiewicz: The network of various agencies and nonprofits, from law enforcement to community base organization, engages with the formerly incarcerated. Besides the DMV to give a person the basic ID, the network includes community coordination officers, Fortune society, Odyssey House, ATF, and others.
Bill Ottersen asked Kelly if there were job training programs. He mentioned that Pennsylvania have more jobs (blue collar trades) than workers, so they are training people within the prisons to provide jobs for them when they exit. Valhalla has something similar too.
Kelly, in answer to Bill’s question, says, that’s a department of corrections state or city program. The DA’s program is to serve as a bridge, because people are sent home with a bus ticket and 40.00. Boston has a minimum security work release program, if they do well, they go to work release, and then they are set up with job and housing before they leave the prison system.
There is a disconnect somewhere, and the DA’s office are trying to fill in the gap in NYC by using the assets seized to fund programs that prevents recidivism.
Kelly went on to talk about Bail Reform: Starting January 2020, monetary bail can only be set for qualifying offenses:
A qualifying offense is a violent felony, if you are not charged with a violent felony, you cannot have bail set, but for a five exceptions: misdemeanor sex crimes that include, forceable touching, sex abuse 2 & 3, sexual misconduct, domestic violence with criminal intent.
There are two violent felonies that don’t count for bail: burglary of a dwelling, robbery in the second degree (when you are with other people).
No flight risk or public safety exceptions for bail. E felonies such as shoplifting, petty theft are given desk appearance tickets (returnable in 20 days). Open warrants, bail jumping, domestic violence, sex crimes, are exceptions and arrests can be made and person can be processed.
Prior convictions have no bearing to a current charge.
Drug crimes do not qualify for bail. Major drug trafficking will qualify, but requires investigation.
Example, a guy who is driving through Manhattan, with loads of cash and10 kilos in their car, with intent to sell, and he is arrested, he will walk the next day
The bail reforms were passed by the state (Governor Andrew Cuomo) under budget bill.
January 1, 2020, anyone in a county jail who is not in for a bail qualifying offense will be released.
Discovery laws have changed which may impact victims of crimes and police officers. A person is charges with a felony, he is arraigned twice, once in criminal court when first arrested, and if indicted and goes in front of a grand jury, he gets arraigned in the supreme court.
The sentencing structure has not changed.
All prosecutors have victims safety in mind while meeting their discovery needs.
Prosecution age for youths has been raised. Ages sixteen & seventeen were prosecuted as adults. They now will likely go to family court.
Robbery in the second degree with injury is a bailable offense.
Kelly suggested we call our state legislatures for change.
Panels without the background were to watch prosecutors. This is being argued in court, an injunction because it was found unconstitutional.
The new reforms are to prevent the bail abuse.
DA Vance argued for safer measures similar to other states in Albany. Bridget Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor who handles all major drug cases, wrote articles against such extreme measure.
There are several prosecutors who agreed reform was needed, but were displeased by how this was done and voiced their opinions.
This is was passed through legislation.
The reforms may be away to compensate for the cruel bail measures that have been going on for a long time.
MEETING OPENS FOR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS:
Community members were concerned with the seemingly overly lax reforms.
Jen, a community member mentioned that gangs of drug dealers have blossomed around the block of 31st Street and Broadway, mostly on Broadway.
Inspector corrected the term “gangs” to groups, said they are selling Marijuana. He said MTS have made arrests.
The community member went on to say groups of 4-5 people are working the corner from morning to night, using the scaffolding as cover and runs to a car. She felt certain they were selling more than marijuana.
The inspector will be following up on the situation.
MSCC IN ATTENDANCE
President John A. Mudd, Vice President Bill Otterson, Secretary/Assistant Secretary (Open Positions) Community Services Director Sharon Jasprizza
OFFICIALS IN ATTENDANCE
Inspector Brendan Timoney, P.O. Thomas Byrnes, Brian Kelly
Twitter account handles: @NYPDMTS, Transit Division @NYPDTRANSIT
The next MTS Community Council meeting will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2019 7:00 p.m., Wyndham New Yorker Hotel on 8th Avenue between 34th and 35th streets.