October 23, 2019
Former Brooklyn Courthouse Transformed Into a Safe Haven for Young People to Flourish
The New York City Police Department unveiled today the NYPD Community Center, a historic first-of-its kind venue and partnership for the department that will provide a variety of high quality educational, recreational and social programming for young people aged 12 to 19. It will also serve as a place for family events, community meetings and a range of other enrichment opportunities.
The center, located at 127 Pennsylvania Avenue in the Brooklyn community of East New York, is the former site of a magistrates' courthouse that underwent extensive renovations that began in 2016 as part of the East New York Neighborhood Plan. The building now features classrooms, a computer lab, fitness center, dance studio, music room, counseling space and more. Starting this month, members of the NYPD and partners from the community will work with staff from The Child Center of NY to provide participants with athletics, tutoring, career planning, graphic design and digital media skill development, music exploration, conflict resolution and more. Brooklyn's Community Board 5 is located on the building’s 2nd floor, having returned to its home of 40 years.
"This community center will provide the young people of East New York with meaningful programs and enrichment opportunities," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "The opportunities offered in this center came from listening to what members of the community – of all ages – wanted to see. Young people play such critical roles in our communities, and it is so important for all of us to support young people, especially during their most formative years. This first-of-its-kind NYPD community center is Neighborhood Policing in action."
"It is my distinct honor to unveil this newly equipped facility to the local young people and their families," said Chief of Community Affairs Nilda Hofmann. "I look forward to seeing the neighborhood youth visiting and taking full advantage of the resources that will be made available to them. The relationships that will be made here will change lives for generations to come."
"While crime is at a record low in New York City, there is still more work to do to ensure that every New Yorker feels safe in their neighborhood," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "This new community center will strengthen the bond between community and police, which will ultimately help make East New York and our City safer."
"Today is a special moment for East New York. This building, 127 Pennsylvania Ave, was once a court room that was used to lock people up. Now, it's a building that will be a space to strengthen our community and keep people out of jail. This is the first full-fledged community center that the City of New York has invested in for this neighborhood, and I commend the NYPD and Mayor's Office for working with the community in making these investments," said Council Member Rafael Espinal. "The new center will provide services to young people that previous generations did not have, services that will make them feel valued. This is how we keep our youth safe and out of the pipeline of the criminal justice system, we need more of this in our City and I'm so proud that it has come to East New York."
"The East New York Community Center is the result of years of thoughtful planning by East New York community residents – and an important example of 'promises made' becoming 'promises kept' in all of our neighborhood plans," said Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago. "As a New Yorker, indeed a proud Brooklyn native, I couldn't be more delighted than to see this center open today. Thank you, NYPD, for being such good partners and planners!"
"Youth development, community development and community policing go hand in hand. The NYPD is making an investment in the future of East New York, and in the young people and families who live here, and we are thrilled to be a part of it," said Traci Donnelly, the Chief Executive Officer of The Child Center of NY. "This Community Center is here to connect the people of East New York with the opportunities and programs they want and deserve. We are eager to get to work and offer family support and youth development programs that will make a real difference in this neighborhood."
"Brooklyn Community Board 5 is extremely excited about returning to the 127 Pennsylvania Avenue site, where we served for close to 40 years," said Melinda Perkins, District Manager, Brooklyn, Community Board 5. "The building has historic value in this district and community members have fought long and hard to ensure that it remained a public community space. The renovations and upgrades in the new center, are exactly the kind of investments that East New York deserves. I encourage and welcome residents to stop by our new office and be sure to take full advantage of all of the wonderful new programs and services now available."
The NYPD Youth Community Center will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Child Center of New York, a city-based organization whose stated mission is to strengthen children and families with skills, opportunities and emotional support, will provide after school programming Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those seeking more information about the center are encouraged to attend one of the scheduled open houses, which will be held on Saturday, October 26th from noon to 3 p.m. and on Wednesday, October 30th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the center, call 311 or go to nyc.gov/nypd/communitycenter.