Under Fire, 7th Precinct Community Council Listens to Embattled Hell Square Residents

Posted on: June 12th, 2015 at 9:19 am by

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Jenifer Rajkumar and Don West, 7th Precinct

Last month was a debacle for the 7th Precinct community council. Its president, Don West, had abruptly canceled public session and the LES Dwellers went nuclear, ultimately calling for his resignation. The same mistake was not made this past Wednesday, however, likely due to the public fallout in the ensuing weeks.

Members from the alphabet soup of neighborhood block associations (i.e. battle-hardened from years of nightlife abuse) were in attendance and spoke up during the Q&A session led by CO Simonetti. As expected, it was all about the over-saturation of nightlife and frustrations over lack of action to combat it. Jenifer Rajkumar, District Leader 65th Assembly, who CB3 Chair Gigi Li is challenging, also put in time.

A concerned resident viewing proceedings sent along this dispatch, noting that the mantra of the night was to call 311:

The Q&A centered around noise from the bars, open windows well past 10pm and/or open when music/bass/patron noise blaring from them, noise from the crowds exiting, entering, loitering or roaming, stipulations being visible for the public, what to do when you call 311 and no officers are dispatched or dispatched well after incident / disturbance, commercial spaces being rented out for illegal booze-fest parties.

[Simonetti] said the 7th Precinct was committed to working on quality-of-life issues. He repeated over and over to call 311 as it is rerouted directly to the front desk for immediate response. Both CO and CB3 [District Manager Susan] Stetzer said that the 311 calls are all they have to go on to indicate a premise is a problem and inform the SLA of issues. However, it’s really hard to preach this to those who have 311 fatigue after calls do not net immediate relief.

Nonetheless, CO Simonetti says they take the 311 calls seriously and said EVERYONE needs to call 311 so they can know what premises to deal with and dispatch officers.

Jennifer Rajkumar sat a few seats from Stetzer, intently listening in on the issues raised by the community. Afterward she introduced herself to residents asking questions about how she can help. There was discussion to work on improving 311 (especially since the technology is there) and pushing for a platform where the info is dispatched to all the agencies at once (instead of burdening residents with the responsibility of reporting to the agencies that are suppose to help) with real time tracking of the problems and resolutions.

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