2016-03-02 / Front Page

Senator Peralta and Assemblymembers Moya and DenDekker host a town hall meeting on student and public safety

NYS SENATOR JOSE PERALTANYS SENATOR JOSE PERALTAIn response to the recent uptick in slashings and stabbings Citywide, and the attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl on her way to school locally, State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), along with Assemblymembers Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) and Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst), will host a Town Hall Meeting on public and student safety. The Meeting will take place this Thursday, March 3rd, from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at the Renaissance Charter School, located at 35-59 81 Street, in Jackson Heights.

In the first two months of 2016, more than 600 people were slashed or stabbed across the City, which is an increase of more than 20% when compared with the same period in 2015. In Senator Peralta’s district, a 19-year-old woman was slashed in the leg as she was jogging at the intersection of 79th Street and 25thAvenue in East Elmhurst. In December, a man was slashed during an attack on Roosevelt Avenue.

“People are clearly concerned by the rise in the number of slashings and stabbings, so we are organizing this Town Hall Meeting on public safety in an effort to inform the public about how to best protect themselves,” Senator Peralta said.

The first part of the Town Hall Meeting will focus on student safety, following the attempted luring of a girl on her way to school in Jackson Heights. In January, a man, who was later arrested, followed a 10-year-old along 81st Street in an attempt to eventually abduct her. Fortunately, the girl ran away from the suspect and called for help. A crossing guard who was nearby heard the screams and confronted the suspect, who then fled the scene.     

The New York Police Department will give a two-part special presentation about safety measures, with the first tailored for students and the second directed toward the general public.  Representatives from the Local Crossing Guards Union (Local 372) will also address these safety issues.   

The premise of the Town Hall Meeting is to let parents, guardians and children know how to best handle dangerous and suspicious situations on the street when students go to and come from school. “As a parent, it is very frightening to learn that a man tried to lure a girl who was just walking to school in the morning. This is scary, and truly a parent’s worst nightmare. Fortunately, this girl knew what to do and ran to a crossing guard for help. She was smart, and able to avoid the situation. It is my hope that the Town Hall will provide the tools necessary to keep students and residents safe in light of this incident. I want to thank Assemblymembers Moya and DenDekker for co-sponsoring this very important event that is open to everyone in our community.”

“After the attempted luring of a little girl in Jackson Heights and various pedestrian-involved car accidents, we are holding a student safety town hall meeting in order to better inform parents and children about how to protect themselves," said Assemblymember Francisco Moya. “Thankfully, the little girl involved in the incident in January had the presence of mind to do the right thing and the quick-thinking crossing guard bravely stepped in to help save her from harm. We want to make sure that all area children are well-equipped to deal with any dangers they may encounter on their way to and from school.”

Assemblymember Michael DenDekker noted, “I am looking forward to coming together with Senator Peralta, Assemblyman Moya, parents, NYPD, and crossing guards to discuss how to keep both students and all Queens residents safe, whether it be to and from school, work, or just in their daily lives. Sadly, we have recently faced both a local kidnap attempt and terrible slashings around the city. As a parent, I understand how important it is for us to have this conversation and keep parents informed and up-to-date on safety measures. As a member of this community I want my neighbors and constituents to feel safe in the neighborhoods they call home. The best way for us to ensure the protection of our children and our community is to work together, and forums such as this one allow us to do just that.” 

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