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Mayor de Blasio Launches New Crime Prevention Efforts to Combat Hate and Anti-Semitism

December 29, 2019

City launching new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions based on a successful model used to drive down gun violence

Video available at: https://youtu.be/3pf07ZLJs1A

NEW YORK–– Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today the creation of new multi-ethnic interfaith Neighborhood Safety Coalitions, increased NYPD presence, and new Department of Education  lesson plans and curriculum as part of the City’s commitment to the prevention of hate crimes and anti-Semitic attacks. In addition to an immediate increased NYPD presence, the new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions will have physical presences in the community with neighborhood safety walks and corner watches. They will also offer ongoing programming designed to promote tolerance and break down stereotypes.

“Fearing the next act of terror will not become the new normal for our Jewish neighbors. In New York City, diversity is our strength and we respect the traditions of all who call New York City home. Intolerance will never take hold here,” said Mayor de Blasio.

Increased NYPD Patrols and Safety Measures

The NYPD will increase resources and patrols to precincts in Borough Park, Midwood, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Williamsburg. Each precinct will have an additional 4 to 6 officers per tour. In addition to an increased NYPD presence at houses of worship and during local events, six new light towers will be posted in Borough Park and additional security cameras will be installed throughout these neighborhoods. 15 light towers have already been installed this month. 

Neighborhood Safety Coalitions

Neighborhood Safety Coalitions will launch in Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park, and will be overseen by the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. These individual coalitions will identify and address issues that drive hate-based crimes, bringing together stakeholders from across their communities. They will meet community members where they are — in schools, on street corners, in religious institutions — to be a regular presence to deter acts of hate.

Each coalition will gather regularly to strategize about ways to interrupt hate acts before they happen. The coalitions will identify and offer programming within their neighborhoods that foster community and connect directly with local youth in and after school hours. 

The coalitions are based on a successful model already used by residents in East Flatbush and Williamsburg/Bushwick through the Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence, in which community groups, neighborhood leaders, and clergy have worked together with local police precincts to dramatically reduce gun violence in their communities.

DOE Curriculum

The DOE is committed to ensuring schools are welcoming, inclusive environments for all students and will be implementing hate crime awareness programming next month for middle and high schools in Williamsburg, Crown Heights and Borough Park, including workshops with community partners and leveraging existing social studies curricula and resources. Curriculum on hate crimes will be launched at middle and high schools in these neighborhoods beginning in the 2020-21 school year. These curriculum resources will also be available to middle and high schools citywide.

Citywide, the DOE will distribute resources to facilitate important conversations in the classroom in January, and the annual Respect for All week in February will focus on preventing and addressing hate crimes. Schools are encouraged to develop opportunities for students to discuss what discrimination and religious intolerance might look like in a school and collectively explore the positive actions they can take to promote acceptance, inclusion, and the diversity of their communities.

Citywide Advertising Campaign

The City will launch a series of advertising and social media campaigns to highlight the City’s diversity and encourage respect for all communities.

“The NYPD stands with members of the Jewish community. We will continue our increased patrols and the targeted deployment of Counterterrorism officers at key locations to ensure that everyone is safe,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “We also need the public’s help—if you see anything suspicious, call 911 or flag down a police officer right away. There is no place for hate in NYC, or anywhere.”

“Safety, for every community, remains the City’s highest priority. The Neighborhood Safety Coalitions announced today are grounded in the strength of New Yorkers themselves, working together to prevent the acts that hurt us all. This neighborhood-based work is key to us remaining true to who we are: a safe city that celebrates diversity and condemns hate,” said Liz Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

“A critical part of our work is engaging directly with the communities impacted by anti-Semitism,” said Deborah Lauter, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. “The neighborhood coalitions will help further New York City's commitment to diversity and respect for all and ensure every New Yorker feel safe in their community.”

“Schools are safe havens, and all students deserve a learning environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and free from discrimination. We’ll be providing programming and resources to schools in order for students and school communities to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue, and to advance learning about hate crimes through historical context and current events. We look forward to partnering with city agencies and community organizations on this critical work. There is no place for hate in our schools,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.

“These further actions by Mayor DeBlasio are necessary and helpful as an urgently needed response to the appalling spate of anti-Semitic attacks in and around New York City. I spoke earlier today with the FBI and urged them to work with NYPD and other law enforcement to fully investigate the series of hate crimes and to decipher if there is any connection between them. I will work with the mayor and community leaders to face down this hate and to protect all New Yorkers from unacceptable threats,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

“The Mayor’s newly announced initiatives are important tools that help all of us combat antisemitism and all hatecrimes in our city. We will never stop fighting for a city in which no one walks in fear,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney.

“A bias attack against any of our Jewish neighbors is an attack against us all. I stand with the Jewish community and will do everything I can to fight against the anti-Semitism and hatred that can never be allowed to fester unrestrained,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

“With more than a dozen anti-Semitic incidents having occurred in the last few weeks in New York, including a violent attack last night on Jews celebrating Hanukkah at their rabbi’s home in Monsey, New York, I’m grateful to Mayor de Blasio for taking renewed steps with the NYPD to combat anti-Semitism and hate. It’s chilling to consider that anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in our state, especially as families just like mine are finishing their Hanukkah celebrations,” said Senator Brad Hoylman.

“I stand in solidarity with my Jewish friends and neighbors against hatred and bigotry of all kinds. We are united  in condemning hateful and racist actions against all people, regardless of race, national origin, sexual orientation and religious belief,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W Ortiz 

"These strong measures are essential to combat the wave of anti-Semitic incidents that has swept our city in recent weeks. It is important now more than ever that we stand together to protect each other from hate and, at the same time, send a clear message that an attack against one community is an attack against all," said Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz. "A multi-faceted approach encompassing public safety, community empowerment and education is the best chance we have to battle hate-motivated violence and encourage a dialogue of tolerance that will help us find common ground and create a safer world for our younger generations."

"We must take swift and strong action against anti-Semitism and all forms of hate. Anti-Semitic acts have proliferated and come from haters at both ends of the political spectrum. All stakeholders, elected officials, and people of good faith must unite and stand up to evil people who perpetrate these despicable acts,"  said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz.

“I commend law enforcement for their quick response and apprehension of the assaliant. We all need to come together to protect our fellow neighbors and strategize how to prevent these henious, despicable and cowardly acts. I want to thank the administration for their commitment to preventing future hate crimes; their efforts to enhance public saftey during times of heightened fear. We all need to focus on promoting diversity and inclusivity among students within our NYC school environments as an early intervention measure," said Assemblyman Charles D. Fall

“Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and his Office for taking immediate action to establish initiatives to address the rise of anti-Semitism in New York, and demonstrating the City’s serious commitment to preventing hate crimes and anti-Semitic attacks. I am profoundly saddened and concerned about the recent attacks in Jewish communities across New York this week and send my deepest condolences to those who have been harmed, their loved ones, and the myriad of impacted communities across the City and State. I hope that we can begin to heal and come together as a community to work towards ensuring the safety and humanity of every New Yorker,” said Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus.

"I join my colleagues in city and state government in condemning the recent spate of attacks, and in calling for a more robust response to combat hate crimes and anti-Semitism.  New York’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and we must do all we can to ensure the safety and well-being of all our communities, " said Assembly member Deborah J. Glick

“There is something terribly wrong in the world. There are people who unfortunately do not believe we all should have the privileges of basic human rights, religion and economic growth. Because of these truths, it is so important that those of us who will constantly fight for right ensure to spread it far and wide. I stand with Mayor De Blasio and his new crime prevention efforts based on Hate & anti-semitism. We will not and do not condone such acts to our communities,” said Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman.

 “As the steady surge of anti-Semitism across New York becomes an undeniable wave of hate, there is no room for complacency,” said Assembly Member Nily Rozic. “I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking steps to prevent and address hate crimes in New York City. We will continue taking action until it is undeniably clear that New York will not tolerate hate.” 

“Anti-Semitism and Hate have no place in our society, in our country, and in the world. We must stand together against each and every act of Anti-Semitism, with attacks against Jewish people on the rise across the country, and continue our work combating hate in all forms,” said Assembly Member David I. Weprin.

"There can be no tolerance or safe harbor for the vile anti-semitic acts in Monsey last night or in New York City these past weeks and months. Let me be clear: everyone's freedom is at stake when Jews are targeted for being Jewish. No one should feel unsafe in expressing their identity, and we must stand together in opposition to hate," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.

“The continued tragedies tied to anti-Semitism reinforces the need to do more to ensure we are proactive in combating hate crimes,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Education and outreach is key in addressing intolerance and I’m confident the new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions will assist in building bridges and tearing down walls between communities.”

“This past week’s string of anti-Semitic attacks brings to light the stark reality that more must be done to support and ensure the safety of our Jewish brothers and sisters,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “Mayor de Blasio’s plan to create Neighborhood Safety Coalitions is the type of swift action that we need to eradicate hate crimes in our communities. I welcome the program’s launch and look forward to engaging with all involved stakeholders. Our community and city must be tolerant and welcoming for all.”

"We must not be afraid to stare hate dead in the eye and call it what it is. This is not normal and we cannot allow it to be. A core principle of the Jewish faith is a commitment to justice and fighting for what's right, regardless of whether or not it directly impacts you. Antisemitism isn't just a problem for Jews, it's a problem for all of us. Because, make no mistake, where antisemitism exists, so does hate, hostility, prejudice, and discrimination of all kinds. The rise of antisemitic attacks is a national emergency. But talk is cheap. We must act. I support Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to combat hate and antisemitism through a holistic community-based approach as well as a focused education campaign in our schools," said Council Member Justin Brannan.

"Combating antisemitism requires an all-hands-on-deck approach that weaves increased law enforcement, intense coalition-building, and focused education efforts into a sustained and integrated strategy to defeat hate and eliminate violence, and the mayor's agenda is a step in the right direction," said Council Member Rory Lancman.

“This spate of despicable attacks goes against the spirit of New York. Everyone should be able to live their lives without fear of being targeted for who they are or what they believe in. In a time of rising anti-Semitism, we need to not only call out hate when we see it, but address and prevent it. I will work with my colleagues in the City Council and City Hall to root out these actions, and thank the Mayor for working to find solutions through prevention efforts,” said Council Member Keith Powers.

"There is no room for intolerance and antisemitism in our great diverse City," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Our police officers will patrol the streets, additional resources will be added to neighborhoods at higher risk to ensure our Jewish residents are safe. I commend the various neighborhood coalitions gathering to make a difference and the Department of Education for their commitment to inclusivity and there programming to raise awareness against hate crimes. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for launching this new anti-hate crime initiative designed to keep New Yorkers safe."

“This is not the first time hate has found its way into the lives of a peaceful people, we have seen it time and time again over the years," said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel. "To live in a society where the Jewish people must fear for their lives by virtue of having their faith is no different to being black in the south and gunned down in the serenity of Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. So long as hate is not countered boldly with unity and compassion for our fellow person we will not be able to endure a union more perfect amongst people so different in color, culture, religion, and creed. Hate in my council district, borough, city and country will not be tolerated. While I pray for a peaceful and prosperous new year I endeavor with my colleagues and advocates to act in full measure to end this era of domestic terrorism and hate."

"Every hate crime, regardless of race or religion, is an attack against our city that has always embraced and celebrated its cultural diversity. The only response, in the wake of these reprehensible anti-Semitic attacks, is a unified coalition that transcends faith and culture to combat hate. We cannot continue to utilize the same strategies that are no longer effective in this unprecedented climate of bigotry. By engaging and empowering community members, the Neighborhood Safety Coalitions will help build new partnerships in this multi-pronged approach to make our communities safer for all,'' said Council Member Farah N. Louis.

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