The Morris Park Community Association, along with 49th Precinct, hosted a town hall meeting to address neighborhood concerns.
On Wednesday, July 27, the organizations hosted ‘It’s Time To Take Our Neighborhood Back’ town hall meeting at 1824 Bronxdale Avenue, where community activists, police officers, elected officials and local residents talked about the recent issues that have occurred in their neighborhood, including drug overdoses and distribution.
“It’s time to take our neighborhood back,” said Tony Signorile, president of the Morris Park Community Association, at the meeting.
The town hall meeting began with discussions on crimes that have recently occurred in the area, including felony assaults and grand larceny.
More specifically, these incidents have resulted in individuals who have had chains and cell phones stolen, either from their cars or while walking on the street late at night.
In addition, businesses have reported stolen laptops, iPads and wallets.
In response to these incidents, the 49th Precinct suggested that residents take proper precautions to avoid these instances, including locking all car doors and windows as well as installing cameras if they have the budget to do so.
Members of Community Board 11 were also attended the meeting.
“Captain (Keith) Walton and the 49th Precinct made a great point - don’t make it easily accessible for your belongings to be stolen,” said Jeremy Warneke, district manager of CB 11. “This is New York City - and all doors and windows, whether it’s your home, your car or your business, should not be left unlocked when you aren’t present.”
Amidst many issues that have occurred, the meeting also addressed the three overdose deaths that occurred in Loreto Park within a two-week period, two of which have been confirmed as being connected to heroin. The third death is still under investigation.
“Heroin and opioid addictions ruin lives, as we have seen in every corner of this state,” said Senator Jeff Klein.
“I am committed to working to combat this scourge, and will be hosting a town hall at the Morris Park Community Association to ensure that this community receives the tools and resources they need to help end this epidemic,” Klein added.
The three incidents have caused the community to become proactive in finding the drug distributors involved.
“It’s about catching the little fish - and hopefully that will lead to us catching the big fish,” Signorile said, referring to the drug dealers. “We think this is a good plan - and we are almost certain that these (dealers) live in these neighborhoods.”
The 49th Precinct has been doing everything in its power to acknowledge these incidents but also help the community move past these recent tragedies.
Last month, the 49th Precinct hosted a BMX bike tournament in Loreto Park, less than a week after one of the overdoses, and will host a Video Game Tournament sometime this month.
“We put together these events to show kids that there are other options besides drugs - and these events are something that keeps youth active, safe and out of trouble,” said Captain Walton.
The two heroin-related overdoses claimed the lives of 21-year old Morris Park resident Chris ‘Hood’ Morello and Michael Coscia last month.