By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Southwest Brooklyn communities like Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst are relatively safe from violent crime, but if they are to remain that way, the city should put more cops on local streets, a City Council candidate said.
Republican John Quaglione, who is running for the seat in the 43rd Council District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) has organized an online petition drive at change.org aimed at convincing Mayor Bill de Blasio to assign additional cops to the 68th and 62nd precincts.
The 68th Precinct covers Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. The 62nd Precinct protects the residents of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.
Quaglione, who serves as deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn), said his petition is designed to bring the mayor’s attention to the issue of public safety.
“It is my intention that through this effort, we can highlight the need to have more cops on patrol throughout Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. The men and women of the 68th and 62nd precincts are doing an extraordinary job keeping us safe with limited resources, but to truly tackle some of the crimes taking place in our neighborhood, endangering our quality of life, we need more cops,” Quaglione said in a statement.
The petition reads in part: "Greater police resources will allow us to further adhere to the 'broken windows' theory, solve crimes faster and root out offenses such as commercial burglaries, package thefts, car break-ins and more. Now is the time to assign more cops so to send a message to the criminals that we will not allow our safety to be jeopardized."
Quaglione is one of three Republicans running in the race to succeed Councilmember Vincent Gentile, a Democrat who has held the council seat since 2003 but who is term-limited and cannot run for re-election this year.
Quaglione will face off against Bob Capano, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Liam McCabe, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island), in the Sept. 12 Republican primary.
The Democrats running for the council seat are Rev. Khader El-Yateem, pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church; Justin Brannan, Gentile’s deputy chief of staff; Kevin Peter-Carroll, scheduler for Councilmember Stephen Levin (D-North Brooklyn); and Nancy Tong, a constituent aide to Assemblymember Bill Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) in the primary.
A fifth Democrat, Assemblymember Peter Abbate (D-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) is said to be considering a run, but has not yet officially entered the race.
Quaglione’s petition can be found at change.org/p/bill-de-blasio-more-police-officers-for-our-brooklyn-streets.