Our Ingersoll Community Center served as the perfect host for an announcement from Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton this week about decreased crime in New York City. Ingersoll was specifically mentioned by city officials for its contribution to decreasing crime in Fort Greene by extending hours and providing exciting, dynamic activities for the community to enjoy. Tameeka Ford Norville, the head of our After-School Programs, spoke at the press conference and was featured in a video news report on ABC News 7 - visit the ABC News 7 website to watch the video clip.
Tameeka (pictured left with Mayor de Blasio) took to the podium during the press conference and addressed questions from the press. She also talked about having the resources to build community and see more youth, using resources to create and strengthen our already-terrific partnerships that are meaningful to youth and families, and most fundamentally, creating a sense of belonging in the Center. Also speaking at the event were Public Advocate Letitia James and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Here are some excerpts from the Mayor's comments on the decline in crime and Ingersoll's contribution to the decrease:
"The NYPD is here to protect and respect. We're creating a dynamic where people all over the City understand the NYPD is crucial to their safety and the safety of their family, and is there to work with them for the betterment of our society.
I believed all along . . . that when you create that unity, you reach higher heights of safety and find possibilities that no one knew existed when there wasn't a vision between police and community.
After 11 months, we can say that this vision is coming to fruition. We can see with our own eyes, and experience in our own lives, a safer city and a city that is becoming more unified,and a beginning of a deepening of a partnership between police and community. We can see the foundation being laid, and see the beginning of real progress.
Here at Ingersoll Houses there has been real progress. We have come back here because it's an example of what all these efforts are meant to achieve.
We are in the one of the largest concentrations of public housing in the City and in the country, and because of the extraordinary efforts of the NYPD working closely with community residents and community leaders, crime here at Ingersoll is down 18 percent. Absolutely remarkable.
When you talk to people who live here, when you talk to families who use this wonderful community center, you realize what this means in human terms. People feel safer; people are able to go about their lives without some of the fear they have felt in the past. We know that real change is achieved by working closely with community, finding out what the community believes will work and what the community needs, adapting our strategy creating that kind of partnership. We met with Ingersoll residents back in January to start this dialogue . . .we heard their concerns . . . we invested in a variety of anti-violence efforts in public housing, $210 million, not just for additional police presence, which is crucial, but also for additional lighting, for additional recreational programs like the ones that happen right here in this gym, that give kids a positive alternative, that mean so much to families. These investments have had a real impact.
We came back here in August and saw 300 young people in this building --- It was a Friday summer night where 300 young people were in a safe, positive environment, away from some of the challenges on the streets, and you always hear the best evidence of why that matters from our police officers, who understand so deeply that giving kids that positive alternative is one of the tools our police need to be succeed. So we made that investment, we kept this community center open longer hours so more young people could have that positive alternative, and it worked.
This journey we're on is about listening to the will of the people. "