By Patricia Q. McDougald
The Turtle Bay Association Safety Committee, chaired
by Millie Margiotta, held its first public meeting on April 6 with
officers from the 17th Precinct offering safety tips and responding
to the concerns of residents in our area.
We have two ends
"The big turnout, more than fifty people, convinced me that
residents are concerned about their safety, and want to see more
beat officers," Margiotta told Turtle Bay Newsletter. "We
keep hearing that crime is down but tell that to someone who gets
robbed, or whose car window has been smashed, or who gets cornered
at an ATM machine. The purpose of the Committee is to make us all
more vigilant about crime prevention."
Detective James Kelly, Crime Prevention Officer of the 17th Precinct,
did indeed confirm that the Turtle Bay area has one of the lowest
crime rates in all of New York City, but he was quick to point out
the importance of common- sense safety precautions.
Take, for example, the popular shoulder bag: Women may defensively
put the bag over their head and across their body, but Det. Kelly
pointed out that this actually gives the would-be thief "a
handle" to jerk you off your feet and do all sorts of physical
damage before he/she runs off with your bag.
If your purse has a strap, wrap it around your forearm and carry
your purse in front, in the crook of your arm, literally making
it a clutch bag. Better yet, for those valuables you must have with
you, carry what you can on your person, in front pockets. Makes
If you see a suspicious-looking character heading down the street
toward you, give him a wide berth, but don't cringe and show fear.
If he makes a move toward you, look him in the eye and keep walking.
Returning home late on a deserted street? Don't walk next to the
curb, and certainly not close to the buildings. Walk straight down
the middle of the sidewalk and stay in the light. Steer clear of
scaffolding. So saith Det. Kelly, and it makes sense.
Pay attention to what you're doing, look where you're going. Move
with purpose. Don't unnecessarily put yourself in harm's way.
These are only some of the helpful hints offered us, but they all
say one thing: Use your common sense. It can be one of our greatest
crime prevention tools. In the words of a great, unknown philosopher:
With a common link
With one we sit
With one we think
Success depends on which we use
Heads we win
Tails we lose.
So let's help keep ourselves safe -HEADS UP!
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941