2018-08-15 / Front Page

DA’s Office Observes ‘National Night Out Against Crime’

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill at the 102nd Police Precinct—the host precinct—for the 35th annual National Night Out Against Crime on August 7. Members of the district attorney’s staff—including those assigned to his Special Prosecutions Bureau and the Office of Immigrant Affairs—visited various locations to observe this special anti-crime event observed throughout New York City with lectures, activities for youngsters and food.

District Attorney Brown said, “More than three decades ago violent crime ran rampant throughout New York City and ‘National Night Out Against Crime’ was established as a way for law-abiding citizens to symbolically reclaim their streets.  In the intervening years that symbolism has become a reality as the crime rate has fallen to record lows and people can once more enjoy all that this great city has to offer without fear.”

Brown continued, “When I go around to different neighborhoods and see how much this city of ours has changed for the better, I cannot help but be reminded of a different time 40 years ago when the ‘Son of Sam’ serial killer David Berkowitz terrorized the city and engulfed it in a blanket of fear. On a personal note, I think about my two daughters who, like millions of other New Yorkers, altered their lives and stayed home at night until the killer was captured; and how—40 years ago this month—I, in my capacity as the supervising judge of the Brooklyn Criminal Court, arraigned Berkowitz on murder charges and ordered him remanded and from that day on he never again tasted a free day.  But what I remember most about the day I arraigned the Son of Sam killer was returning home to Queens and seeing the neighborhood teeming with people, people out and about and enjoying the simple pleasures of a summer night.  It was as if the whole city had collectively heaved a sigh of relief that day.”

The district attorney added, “Today, National Night Out remains an important reminder of the need to remain vigilant in the fight for public safety. It also provides Queens County residents with a wonderful opportunity to meet with the police officers and law enforcement officials who protect their neighborhoods and who are largely responsible for the sharp reduction in violent crime over the years and the significant improvement in the quality of life.”

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