2012-02-02 / Other News

Community Council Meeting Addresses Success And Challenges Ahead

By Dara Mormile

Council president Roxanne Persaud (right) reviews community programs Council president Roxanne Persaud (right) reviews community programs It was standing room only at the Hebrew Educational Society Tuesday night when the first meeting of the new year was held by the 69th Precinct Community Council.

President of the council Roxanne Persuad, invited residents to get more involved in the civic processes available in Canarsie, such as the Citizens Police Academy.

“We don’t always realize what goes into policing our neighborhood,” she said. “This program is available different times of the year and will give you a better understanding of what goes into making Canarsie safer.”

Persuad suggested residents call 718-257-6204 and speak to Community Affairs Police Officer Eton White about enrolling in the citizens’ academy. She also invited residents who have newly-formed block associations to reach out to the council.

“We’re the safety link between the community and the Police Department - so even if you’re a block association that has an informal meeting, we’re more than happy to speak to everyone and keep your members involved in the civic process.”

District Leader of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club Frank Seddio also spoke at the meeting and praised the recent transformations taking place at Canarsie Cemetery.

“For years, the city owned Canarsie Cemetery and never really took care of it,” he said. “In October, it was officially taken over by the administration of Cypress Hills Cemetery and I'm confident that they’re going to make the site more modern and clean looking. Now, you can actually buy plots and it will be taken care of by a business that knows professionally how to take care of a cemetery.”

Police Officer Paul O’Connor, who was unable to attend the meeting, received the December Cop of the Month Award. The plainclothes officer was recognized for making an arrest in relation to cab robberies that were occurring in the community.

“There was a car parked near a side street and the activity going on inside looked suspicious and out of the ordinary,” said Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon. “O’Connor noticed a group of men running from the cab and after they chased them, found that they were carrying firearms.”

In controversial news, councilmember Melba Brown announced that an emergency meeting, held by Senator John Sampson last week, attempted to address the problems facing Brookdale Hospital.

“They're thinking of changing Brookdale's administration and we don't know what will become of the hospital after those changes are implemented,” Brown said. “Brookdale had over 1,000 beds - now they only have 300. We need to write to our elected officials and tell them to restore funds to Brookdale.

“Our councilman, Charles Barron, also wants to lead a rally to save the hospital from whatever negative fate it might meet,” Brown added.

Brandon Bloomfeld, a spokesperson for the senator, said despite what some may think about alleged poor treatment and services from hospital administration, changes may not be a positive thing.

“Brookdale has been hailed for its different medical programs and it's at the forefront of technology,” he said. “If the senator can get more funding to help resolve some of the hospital's financial problems and build its reputation, we can keep it running and make sure Canarsiens have a quality facility to go to.”

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