Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bay Ridge Fears Sunset's Prostitutes Will Visit

The Bay Ridge Rover highlights a pair of articles in this past week's Home Reporter and Sunset News (page 3) about the crackdown on prostitution on 3rd Avenue in the 50's. While he is much more amused by the uncomfortable juxtaposition of the main headline and the large color photo of a woman and a dog (no connection to the prostitution article), I was riveted by how the 72nd was attempting to ride the area of johns and hookers. From the article by Paula Katinas, here's a description of one high tech method:

Pintos [the relatively new 72nd Precinct Captain] arranged for the Police Department to place a camera onto a truck and park the truck on the street. The camera, called a “Sky Watch,” is attached to a pole that can extend from the truck some 25 feet into the air. From that perch, the camera can capture images on the ground for several blocks around, according to police. “Sky Watch” will be parked on the street for several days, Pintos says.

Will the photos of the johns be publicized? Will we be scandalized to find out who frequents 3rd Avenue's prostitutes?

A more disturbing issue - even more disturbing than the used condoms left about for residents to find and enjoy - was a mother's assertion that young girls and other female residents are solicited by johns in the morning while they are on their way to school or work. Those types of incidents have occurred on 3rd Avenue, mainly in the 50's. Especially considering the bus stops along 3rd Avenue and the playgrounds and schools nearby, that's just disgusting. Always have your camera ready, I say. These guys think they can say and do what they want from the safety of their cars, but cars have license plates. Well, they should, anyway.

According to Captain Pintos' response to a question at the last Community Council meeting, he will act on information provided about the johns - including license plate information.

The article directly underneath the "Prostitution Crackdown" article is also interesting. Apparently, CB 10 is concerned that if hookers leave Sunset, they'll travel right down 3rd Avenue to Bay Ridge. A legitimate concern, and perhaps it's something that the precincts and community boards can deal with together. Perhaps is just the tenor of the article, or maybe it's my knee-jerk defensiveness, but it almost sounded like the CB 10 Chair was disappointed that the issue was receiving attention in Sunset Park.

You can probably still pick up a copy of this issue around the neighborhood. I can't figure out how to post the PDF, but the link is on the above link to The Bay Ridge Rover's post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The article awakened my defensive feelings also. In the past, we were the voiceless, poor stepsibling. All negative developments were sited in Sunset or at our border rather than in Bay Ridge. We even house their garbage trucks on 52nd Street.

The difference was because we lacked responsible leadership. Our leaders were incompetent, or sold out for pennies or were lackies of big players like Lutheran Medical Center.

But the tables have turned. Sunset showed the Ridge how to start a Business Improvement District. We led them to understand the problems with the Gowanus reconstruction. And we are on par with them in terms of zoning protections.

As for the hookers. More than a few of the hookers who ply their trade in Sunset Park actually live in Bay Ridge. And I wish we could document the home addresses of the johns, I wouldn't be surprised if they come from the Ridge also.

But I'm a bit less defensive now that Sunset has been developing responsible grassroot leadership.

We can now address our local needs in a productive manner.