Public Safety

The 39th District is lucky to have the officers of the 66th, 72nd, 76th, and 78th Precincts keeping us safe. Working with law enforcement and citizen groups, we can make sure that all of us feel safe on the streets and in our homes.

Drivers Get Away With Murder In NYC, But New Laws Could Finally Change That

Gothamist
08/25/2012

A broad coalition of City Councilmembers who rarely see eye-to-eye on the same issue came together today in an attempt to reform the NYPD's appalling handling of accident investigations. "The NYPD's crash investigation system is fatally flawed," Councilmember Brad Lander said at a City Hall press conference this morning. "40% of the time when someone is killed, nobody even gets a traffic ticket." Indeed, a shocking City Council hearing in February found that the city's Accident Investigation Squad [AIS] will only investigate accidents in which the victim dies or seems likely to die. Read more »

After Accidents and Lawsuits, More Money for Tree Care

New York Times
07/05/2012

After years of declining budgets for the care of New York City’s street trees, city officials and lawmakers more than doubled the amount for the fiscal year that began this week.

The City Council, working with the mayor’s office, added $2 million for tree pruning to the $1.45 million in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposed budget. The extra money was part of $30 million worth of last-minute restorations to the parks department’s budget, including money to keep open four public pools and to pay for seasonal park staff members. Read more »

When a Building Collapse Makes You Grateful

Early Monday morning, disaster struck at 241 Carroll Street (between Court and Smith Street), when the building’s exterior wall collapsed. Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt. The owners, tenants, and neighbors have been remarkably resilient in the face of a disaster. And the response from City employees – at the Department of Buildings, Housing Preservation & Development (who will oversee demolition), the Fire Department, the NYPD, and the Office of Emergency Management – has been truly impressive. Read more »

A city budget we can be proud of

The City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement this week on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget – one that invests in our kids and preserves funding for vital public services.

The City’s $68.7 billion budget is a statement of our priorities, and I am proud that those priorities reflect a deep belief in education (public schools continue to be the largest item by far), in core public services and infrastructure that make sure we have safe and vibrant communities, and in a strong safety net for those who need it (young, old, and in-between).

I’m also excited that, for the first time, the City’s budget includes items that you selected, through participatory budgeting. The seven items – totaling $1 million – that more than 2,200 of you voted for in March are being officially adopted as part of the City’s capital budget this week … and we’re launching a new webpage to keep you posted on their progress. Read more »

Safety Improvements for 15th St. & Bartel-Pritchard Sq.

Park Slope Patch
06/19/2012

Crossing Bartel-Pritchard Square near 15th Street can be dangerous for pedestrians.

But, the Department of Transportation has a proposal for roadway changes that may make crossing near and around the traffic circle easier for pedestrians along with a bike lane for 15th Street.

Councilman Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, has been on a mission to make sure that area, which is right smack between Park Slope and Windsor Terrace, safer for all users. Read more »

Video: City Council proposes NYPD oversight

ABC News
06/13/2012

New York City Council members are introducing legislation that would create an inspector general to oversee the New York Police Department, amid criticism that the department's stop-and-frisk policy is out of control.


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An Independent Monitor for the Police Is Proposed

The New York Times
06/13/2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency have inspectors general who function as independent monitors. So do the police departments of major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as the nation’s capital. Even most New York City agencies, like the Education Department and the Housing Authority, have similar monitors.

About two dozen members of the City Council planned to introduce a bill on Wednesday that would create an office of the inspector general to monitor the police and “conduct independent reviews of the department’s policies, practices, programs and operations.”

The council members said that there has never been a more opportune time to increase oversight over so powerful an agency, especially in light of the department’s stop-and-frisk policy, surveillance of Muslim groups, questions over allegedly manipulated arrest data and other recent controversies involving the police. Read more »

A Stronger NYPD, a Safer New York

We live in the greatest city in the world, so it’s not often that I find myself wishing that we had something that exists in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia, but not here in New York. All of these cities have independent oversight for their police departments – which means there is someone whose job is to ensure that the police department’s operations are effective, efficient, and protect our civil liberties.

Read more »

Response to Mayor's Budget

Mayor Bloomberg’s FY13 Executive Budget:
Some Good News for Our Classrooms, Bad News for Just About Everything Else

City Councilmember Brad Lander had the following statement in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s Executive Budget:

"Mayor Bloomberg presented his FY2013 Executive Budget proposal this morning. There was some good news for our public schools, but bad news for just about everything else.

"For the first time in five years, there will not be cuts to our teaching force through attrition. Earlier this spring, my office released a report highlighting the painful impact of the loss of teachers in recent years: the number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in general education classrooms of 30 or more students has grown tenfold during this period (and overall class sizes are up significantly). The Mayor’s Preliminary Budget in February proposed to continue teacher attrition, projecting a loss of 2,570 teachers, which would have resulted in thousands more young kids in very large classes. I am pleased that the Mayor and the Department of Education recognized this problem, and took these cuts to our classrooms off the table. It will make a real difference in our schools.

"Unfortunately, the Mayor’s Executive Budget continues to propose devastating cuts to child care and after school programs, to our public libraries, to 20 fire companies, to senior services, and to shelter beds for runaway homeless youth. The cuts to child care and after-school are particular unacceptable: 47,000 kids will no longer have somewhere safe to go after school, on top of more than 40,000 childcare slots that have been lost in recent years (more than 60% of the slots that existed in 2009). Read more »