Religious leaders alarmed - Raise security concerns with the 6-9

The Brooklyn Paper
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The shepherds of Canarsie met with the top dog of the 69th Precinct Tuesday during an intimate gathering about crime concerns and counter-terrorism.

Gathering at the 69th Precinct, 9720 Foster Avenue, Catholic, Jewish, Pentecostal and Islamic religious leaders expressed their concerns about crime and the propagation of guns in the neighborhood.

The meeting was called to inform area religious leaders about the NYPD’s current anti-terrorism tactics and offer tips on how to better secure houses of worship.

Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, wanted to offer these services in light of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, although religious leaders said that while they remain concerned, the fighting in the Middle East hasn’t reached Canarsie.

“So far, so good,” explained Iman Ahmed of Canarsie Islamic Services on East 85th Street.

The remainder of the meeting was left to the religious leaders, who discussed a host of community concerns ranging from parked trucks to the need for additional police officers.

Marmara and his officers noted the concerns and explained that he is expecting more officers to be assigned to the 69th Precinct now that the NYPD has graduated another academy class.

The relationship between cops and the clergy has never been stronger in the 69th Precinct.

Religious leaders are in constant contact with the police, and have let their parishioners and congregants know that if they have any crime concerns or tips, they can relay the information to the police through them.

A common theme in the meeting was that there were too many guns in Canarsie.

At least one Pentecostal leader explained that one of his congregants had left a gun at his church.

The parishioner pleaded with the minister to take the weapon, because he was afraid he was going to hurt someone with it.

Another clergy leader also outlined a thinly veiled “scenario” about how he was nearly held up by a parishioner, who claimed that he had a gun in his pocket.

The pastor had given the teenager some money before he announced that he had a weapon, and was spared from being a crime victim.

Ironically, this scenario occurred at St. Albans Episcopal Church at 9408 Farragut Road where 33 guns were recovered during DA-sponsored gun buy-back program.

Religious leaders felt that another gun buy-back program was warranted.

Marmara explained that while residents could not receive the $200 they would at the DA run program, they could receive $100 through an ongoing NYPD gun buy-back program.

If the residents are too worried about bringing a gun to the precinct, the local clergy could act as middlemen, he said.


Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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