The New York Police Department launched their Build the Block discussions for the community to voice their public safety concerns. Sector C of the 102nd police precinct held their most recent meeting virtually on March 11. The meetings give residents the opportunity to interact with their Neighborhood Coordination Officers NCOs who are on the ground in the streets of the neighborhoods. Police Officer Scott Adelman and Police Officer Samantha Edelstein led the conversation and heard the concerns of the citizens. One issue that arose was widespread graffiti. The officers noted, “There has been an increase of over 100 percent in graffiti throughout the sector since the start of the pandemic.”
This figure may seem surprising to readers, but it is the reality in Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill. Adelman and Edelstein offered an immediate and powerful option for the community to respond. The pair announced a joint effort to remove the graffiti and called on those present to step up and help the initiative.
This past Sunday afternoon, following his duties at Tomchei Shabbos of Queens, Eli Love, a Chaverim of Queens dispatch coordinator, noticed Adelman and Edelstein hard at work removing graffiti affixed on a structure near 117th Street and Hillside Avenue. Love recalled a conversation about the graffiti with local District 29 City Council Candidate Avi Cyperstein and reached out to him to join in assisting the officers. Without hesitation, the two jumped into action and worked alongside the NCOs until the job was complete.
“The Neighborhood Coordination Officers for Sector C cleaned up some graffiti in the Kew Gardens/Richmond Hill area with the help of some community members. Thank you for the help @ItsTimeForAvi,” tweeted the precinct the next afternoon. Cyperstein, a native of Kew Gardens, replied with an acknowledgment, “Thank you @NYPD102Pct for not only keeping our streets safe but also for taking care of graffiti issues. It was an honor & pleasure to help out (& we had fun too!). Special thank you to the volunteers from @ChaverimQueens for helping out!”
By Shabsie Saphirstein