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Opinion

Guest Op-Ed: Keeping Our Streets Safe And Clean

In a time when most major American cities are reporting less and less crime, New York City outperforms them all – year after year, we are statistically the safest big city in America.

You may not believe it because these days every little thing gets posted in real-time on social media, but it’s true: from Bensonhurst and Bath Beach through Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, and all across the city, crime has dropped to levels not seen since the 1950s.

That’s why, now more than ever, it is so important that residents and police officers work together to continuing building trust in order to maintain the mutual goal of safe streets and strong neighborhoods.

I have long called for more resources and officers for our local 68th and 62nd Precincts, but I realized it’s not about simply hiring or dispatching more officers; it’s about using these officers in a smart way and producing positive results while also doing even more to ensure that we treat all residents with equal dignity, respect and professionalism.

That is why I’m such a big believer in the neighborhood policing philosophy and think it will go a very long way not only towards keeping crime at record lows but improving the trust between cops and the people they serve. It’s also really going to help with recurring quality-of-life concerns.

Protecting all New Yorkers is important work. By replacing broken windows policing with the neighborhood policing philosophy, we will not only strengthen but emphasize police and community connectivity as the only real way to build respect and trust, and keep communities safe.

I know having the Neighborhood Policing Program will help keep our streets safe so I made sure to invest equally in programs that will help keep our streets clean.

In fact, whether through increased basket pick-ups along our major avenues (now five times a week), more frequent bulk trash collection so our sidewalks don’t look like yard sales after a few days, or electronic recycling programs and events, I’ve allocated more money than any of my predecessors towards sanitation services across the district.

To me, clean streets, sidewalks and storefronts are the very foundation of any vibrant community. When quality-of-life issues such as sanitation and maintenance are not addressed, and our streets are littered with garbage, it creates the perception that an area is neglected or forgotten.

That’s why, since day one, I’ve said that I wanted to make our district the cleanest in the city. And so I’m doing everything I can to make that a reality. But I need your help, too!

Please do what you can to encourage your neighbors and favorite store owners to keep their sidewalks and storefronts clean. If you see an area that could use some extra attention, please call or email my office and we will have it handled right away.

My commitment to making this district the cleanest in the city is absolutely real. And I know that if we work together, we can make it happen.

I didn’t make many promises as a candidate during my campaign, but I did promise always to prioritize keeping our streets safe and clean, and with these investments, that’s exactly what we are doing.

Justin Brannan represents the 43rd Council District.

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