Republican District Leader Liam McCabe and others gathered on Tuesday outside of Democratic State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D – Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay) office to address the increase of crimes in the area and to come out in support of the NYPD and the proposed increase in MTA transit officers.
McCabe described many recent crimes as “alarming”, citing instances of armed robberies, kidnappings, sexual assaults on the subways, and mass vandalism that have gone unanswered by elected officials and law enforcement in the last weeks and months.
McCabe’s goal in calling for the support of leaders outside of his party is simple: “We want to stop the crime here in Bay Ridge and we want to support the NYPD. This rise in crime has got to be addressed by our local leadership.”
City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach Bensonhurst) and Gounardes released a joint statement on Twitter Monday offering concern toward recent acts of vandalism in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. In the statement, they asked for the 68th Precinct to increase overnight patrolling in the area.
Gounardes, however, has publicly questioned the increase of police presence in the subways on Twitter, calling the choice “misguided”. He states, “It is 1000% legitimate to question spending $50m/ year on 500 add’tl officers when we still can’t get decent bus service.”
McCabe was quick to dismiss the joint statement, calling it a “screenshot”, and insisted that the public deserves to hear directly from the Senator about the issues.
Marko Kepi, a candidate for the New York State Assembly, marine, and staffer of former State Senator Martin Golden, joined McCabe in asking the Gounardes to be tougher on crime and to make a public statement on the issues.
Kepi argued that the joint statement proved that “We have a Senator with no office, no voice, no leadership, and a Senator who waits for others to say what he has to say, and when he doesn’t know what to say, he copies and pastes. That’s not the leadership we need, and that’s not tough on crime.”
Another community leader who spoke said that the issue of crime is in the hands of voters. He encouraged anyone who wants to see an increased support for the NYPD to vote for officials that will support them, saying, “We ask them to sacrifice their lives for us, we ask them to put their lives on the line for us, and we are not doing enough for them, and that’s absolutely unfair.”