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Windsor Terrace Alliance confronts graffiti

The Windsor Terrace Alliance, a new community group based the neighborhood south of Park Slope, reacted approvingly to the work of 72nd Precinct Community Policing Detective Mike Cleary in keeping the neighborhood safer and tackling a nettlesome graffiti issue.

“That guy ‘Back Fat,’ I locked him up last January,” Cleary said, referring to a graffiti writer who wrote ‘Back Fat’ in large letters on buildings around the neighborhood. “He ended up getting community service.”

Formed earlier this year, the Windsor Terrace Alliance (WTA) aims to identify the concerns of residents regarding education, traffic, commercial development, and quality-of-life issues, as well as create a network of residents to work towards resolutions of these matters.

Previously, the WTA has requested a new traffic plan for the traffic circle around Ocean Parkway from the Department of Transportation, with the help of Councilmember Bill de Blasio and Assemblymember Yvette Clark. After speaking with DOT officials, Windsor Terrace Alliance Co-Founder Lauren Collins is confident that the DOT will initiate a new traffic study in May, eighteen months after their most recent one.

Community members who gathered at the WTA meeting at the Lonelyville Café (154 Prospect Park SW) last Tuesday asked several questions about graffiti, robberies near Fort Hamilton Parkway and pedestrian safety.

Cleary explained how his office investigated a subway robbery in April as well as graffiti vandals by serving several three-and-a-half hour shifts past midnight to monitor the area.

“We took a report in April,” Cleary said, referring to a report of a robbery on the F train where the suspects are six Hispanic males. “If there are complaints in the area, I will follow up with a phone call and I will come by your home,” Cleary said.

Robberies have increased 50 percent this past week in the 72nd Precinct compared to the same time last year and are up about 17 percent over the past 28 days. Although grand larceny is down 17 percent compared to this time last year, Cleary warned residents to remove the Global Positioning System devices from their cars after they park them in the neighborhood. A number of car break-ins in the neighborhood have been due to robbers stealing GPS systems.

Several residents questioned detective Cleary about racist graffiti that they observed in the neighborhood. The graffiti read “F—k N——rs” and was painted in large letters in black paint on a yellow house. Police officers painted over the graffiti within hours.

“That’s very aggressive, worse than Back Fat,” one community resident said. “We don’t want our children seeing that. First it’s graffiti, then it’s physical violence.”

Cleary tried to assure the community members that the graffiti would be investigated, though when community members pressed would not disclose how his officers would monitor certain corners at certain times during the night to catch people in the act.

For more information about the Windsor Terrace Alliance, visit http://windsorterracealliance.org. To contact the 72nd Precinct Community Policing Unit, call 718-965-6311.

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