Anti-crime officers arrested Adolfo Martinez in the vicinity of the 72nd Precinct for allegedly groping an 18-year-old as she walked down the street, but a representative from the Police Department’s (NYPD) Deputy Commissioner for Public Information said he is only connected to one of the many incidents that have occurred in the area.
Police have no other suspects for the string of assaults that occurred previously, the representative said.
According to a pamphlet put together by Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, along with local council members and community boards, more than a dozen sexual assaults occurred in the neighborhoods of Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, South Slope, Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge between March and October of 2011.
The attacks occurred mostly near the F and R trains between Ninth and 77th Streets, late at night, usually between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., the pamphlet states.
In response to the problem, Brooklyn women are teaming up with local law enforcement to learn to protect themselves against predators who may be lurking the streets.
For example, members of Safe Slope and Hollaback!, local groups formed to fight the threat, drafted an open letter to the NYPD in September calling for increased sensitivity towards women on behalf of police officers, to nurture the relationship between law enforcement and members of the community.
The letter was backed by a petition bearing 5,000 signatures and was presented to officers from the 72nd and 78th precincts at a closed meeting on Saturday, October 8.
According to a representative from the meeting, police agreed to adopt practices such as warning women before following them home for their safety and giving prior notice before displaying graphic images or videos that may be upsetting.
“The two precincts have been working hard to catch the perpetrators of these crimes,” Councilman Brad Lander, who attended the meeting, said in a statement. “With the steps agreed to at this meeting, they will deepen the NYPD’s partnership with the community in a way that furthers safety and respect, both now and far into the future.”
The officers also agreed to consider adding sensitivity training to their orientation procedures and to show related videos to existing officers before they start their shifts.
Safe Slope member Jessica Silk said in the statement that “we believe this collaboration will help make our community safer, but also make the police's work more effective by promoting a culture of open communication, respect, sensitivity, and care for one another."
DeBlasio’s pamphlet is distributed at community board and other meetings across Brooklyn. It warns residents to trust their instincts, plan walking routes along well-lit streets, and to be alert and aware of their surroundings.
It advises to walk in the opposite direction of bothersome motorists, to have house keys in hand before reaching a door, and encourages those in distress to yell and make a scene.
Women walking alone can call Right Rides at (888) 215-SAFE after midnight, Brooklyn Bike Patrol at (718) 744-7592, or the Safe Slope “Safe Walk” initiative at (347) 709-8852 after 8 p.m. for a ride home.