Residents in this once tranquil, tree-lined section of State Street are now facing a disturbing influx of drug users and dealers. The sudden increase in illicit activity has left the community feeling unsafe and concerned about the future of their neighborhood. A photo taken by Mary Frost of the Brooklyn Eagle showcases the contrast between the LEED-certified building and the troubling presence of drug-related activities on the block.
Residents living on State Street between Hoyt and Bond streets in Boerum Hill are expressing their concerns over the deteriorating condition of their once peaceful and tree-lined block. They claim that the area has recently become a hotspot for drug users, who not only harass the residents but also engage in unsanitary behaviors such as defecating and urinating on the sidewalks. The presence of discarded needles and trash scattered throughout the block has also become a common sight.
Around twelve individuals from State Street attended the 84th Precinct Community Council meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall on November 22nd. Their main objective was to advocate for increased police presence in the area known as the “State Street Cathedral Block,” named after the prominent St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral.
Tim Walther, a long-time resident of the neighborhood, expressed his dismay at the current situation, stating, “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve been living here for 37 years.” He further described the alarming incidents that have been occurring regularly, saying, “Almost every night, we witness individuals openly using drugs on the street. We’ve even witnessed someone injecting themselves right in front of our yard. I was shocked to see a man defecating in a tree pit right in front of my house.”
“They relocated from the deli on the corner and now gather directly in front of St. Nick’s,” he explained. “Residents are hesitant to walk down this particular block.”
Some residents expressed their concerns about discovering drug paraphernalia in their building entrances and feeling unsafe while walking outside after dark.
Anita, a resident of State Street, recounted a horrifying incident involving her neighbor living at 368 State. According to her, as he returned home around 8:30 p.m. after using an ATM in the neighborhood, two men forcibly entered his building and initiated an assault. However, despite the distressing situation, he managed to deter the attackers by screaming and utilizing the presence of his dog. Anita described the ordeal as a truly traumatic experience for him.
A couple of weeks ago, Anita found herself in a situation where she had to dial 911 to help a man who was unconscious and lying between a car and the street right in front of her house.
Incredible Blaze Engulfs Towering Toilet
Anita has a suspicion that a dumpster near her house, located at a construction site, might be attracting vagrants.
“In June, a group of individuals trespassed onto the construction site and discovered that the porta-potty was left unlocked. Tragically, they proceeded to set it ablaze, resulting in a towering inferno that emitted an unimaginable amount of toxic smoke onto the street,” she explained. “The incident occurred around midnight, attracting numerous fire trucks and a crowd of onlookers. The scene was absolutely chaotic.”
Sgt. Orhan Bayram, the Supervisor of Neighborhood Coordination Officers, urged residents to reach out to him with detailed information regarding the dates and times when the vagrants congregate, in order to enhance the effectiveness of their response. “We adapt our schedules according to the situation and conditions in the vicinity,” he explained.
P.O. Christopher Fret, NCO for the 84th’s Sector C, along with his partner P.O. Abdul Moien, mentioned that they were relatively new to the precinct. However, they have made State Street a focal point since assuming their position. Fret stated that the precinct has issued “multiple summonses” for illegal parking on that block recently, but they haven’t witnessed any drug use. Fret assured the community that if they keep them informed, they will continue to prioritize the area and make an effort to be present as frequently as possible.
Councilmember Lincoln Restler, on the other hand, mentioned that his office has been actively reporting complaints regarding the drug issue to the precinct.
Restler expressed his concern about the drug dealing activities near Saint Nicholas Church. He stated that he and his staff have reached out to the 84 on multiple occasions regarding this issue.
“We are grateful that you have included it in your tours, but we believe, as the residents have emphasized, that maintaining a consistent presence there is crucial for deterring crime,” he stated, earning applause from the audience.
If you witness any drug sales taking place, it is important to report it immediately to 911. By doing so, you are helping to ensure the safety and well-being of your community. Drug sales can have a detrimental impact on the lives of individuals and the overall security of neighborhoods. Taking action and reporting these illegal activities can make a significant difference in combating drug-related crimes. So, if you see something, say something, and help to create a safer environment for everyone.
According to Special Operations Lt. Peter Behan, who became a member of the precinct in May, drug sales should be treated as a separate issue from drug use. He emphasizes the importance of immediately calling 911 and providing a detailed description when witnessing drug sales taking place.
According to Behan, when a 911 call is made regarding drug sales, it triggers the generation of a “kite.” A kite is an informative statement that requires a response and subsequent investigation.
According to the explanation provided, the investigation of drug sales falls under the jurisdiction of the Narcotics Squad, rather than the precinct police officers. The reason behind this division is to prevent corruption. The Narcotics Squad is prohibited from sharing information with the precinct officers, as it serves as a measure to minimize the potential for corruption.
The residents admitted that instead of calling 911 to report drug sales, they had directly expressed their concerns to the precinct.
“We are committed to addressing this issue at the precinct level,” Behan emphasized. He proposed collaborating with residents after the precinct meeting to determine the most suitable times for police officers to patrol the area. “We will discreetly position our unmarked vehicles, observe the surroundings, and assess people’s reactions. I have utilized this enforcement approach for many years, and I am more than willing to implement it once more.”
Should I Call Pastor Zac?
It’s been a tough week, and you’re feeling overwhelmed. You’re not sure if you should reach out for help or just keep pushing through on your own. In times like these, it can be helpful to have someone to talk to, someone who can offer guidance and support. One person who comes to mind is Pastor Zac. He’s known for his compassion and wisdom, and many people in the community turn to him in times of need.
You might be hesitant to reach out because you don’t want to burden Pastor Zac with your problems. But remember, part of his role as a pastor is to provide support to those who need it. He genuinely cares about the well-being of his congregation and is there to lend a listening ear. By calling him, you’re not imposing on him; you’re simply reaching out for the help you need.
When you’re going through a difficult time, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone. Having someone like Pastor Zac in your corner can make all the difference. He can offer guidance based on his experience and knowledge, and he can provide a comforting presence during challenging times. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation with someone who understands to help you gain a fresh perspective and find the strength to keep going.
So, should you call Pastor Zac? Absolutely. Reach out to him and share what you’re going through. Don’t hesitate to ask for his guidance and support. Remember, you don’t have to face life’s challenges alone. Pastor Zac is there to help, and by reaching out, you’re taking an important step towards healing and finding the support you need.
Rev. Zac Martin, the pastor of The Next Step Community Church located at 360 Schermerhorn St., expressed his disappointment with the lack of communication from the crowd regarding the drug problem in their neighborhood.
Martin stated that he is likely familiar with many of the drug addicts involved, as his church offers assistance to the homeless, individuals struggling with drug addiction, and other individuals in need.
“If you happen to be on State Street, feel free to reach out to me. I have extensive experience working with various groups and can provide specific insights into what is happening,” he enthusiastically expressed. “I collaborate closely with the Parks Department, NCOs, and homeless outreach services to address the situation effectively.”
According to Martin, 16 Sycamores Park, located right next to the church, was a hub of drug activity.
“I’m constantly in the community, staying informed about the situation,” he expressed. “Michelle, who lives on your block, has my contact information. We have had conversations and she has even shared images of incidents where bricks were thrown through windows. These individuals have no affiliation with our church, but I have connections who are concerned about these matters. We collaborate with Vocal-NY to address these issues.”
“It really annoys me when you don’t just knock on our door – we’re literally right behind you,” he added.