Dear Park Slope Parents members,
Like many of you, the past few days have been emotional for many on the PSP team. We are grateful for the Park Slope Parents community more than ever. We are a strong network of 5,000+ diverse Brooklyn families with different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different cultures. That difference makes us a community we are proud to be part of. This is a time for us to come together through these difficult times and honor and respect our diversity.
In addition to our Advice List, we have over 100+ specialty groups including the LGBTQ group, African American Caribbean Heritage Group, Spanish Group, Volunteer Corps and many others. Members of the LGBTQ community are concerned and we’re working on answers to questions of marriage and adoption laws in light of the election results. We’re also looking into interest in a South Asian Group (in partnership with the existing Mixed Masala group) and Mixed-Race Group. If you need support or have questions and concerns, please reach out. If you are not a PSP member or would like to renew your membership, follow the steps here.
We have had members asking each other questions including where to rally, how to explain the election results to your child, and books recommendations that easily explain the electoral college. Here are the events that you can attend over the next few days:
Friday, November 11th
What: Love Rally
When: Washington Square Park, Manhattan
When: 2pm- 7pm
What: Healing Service
Where: Congregation Beth Elohim, Brooklyn
When: 4pm – 8pm (service at 6:30)
Saturday, November 12th
What: Candlelight Vigil for Hope and Human Kindness
Where: Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, Fort Greene Park
When: 4:30pm - 6pm
What: March @ Union Square
Where: Union Square, Manhattan
When: 12pm – 4pm
Sunday, November 13th
What: I Support Love; I Reject Hate
Where: Grand Army Plaza
When: 9am- 12pm
What: Girls Read for Girls Event
When: 3pm- 5pm
More information >
Through all of this uncertainty we want to stay focused on creating positive change. We are organizing great outreach events with local not-for-profits around the holidays—Thanksgiving pie drives, gift drives, wrapping parties and holiday parties for homeless shelters. We are also reaching out to local officials and other organizations about having in-person events to strengthen and grow our community and celebrate our differences. Stay tuned on ways to channel your energy into doing good.
We’re all in this wonderful parenting journey together. Let's bring our collective wisdom and expertise and show what being great truly is.
Park Slope Parents Team
Earlier this month, a PSP member came home to an intruder in her home. It was after she had put her toddler down for a nap that she discovered him hiding in her bathroom. The intruder was able to force his way into her apartment because the lock had not been deadbolted. This is a reminder to the community that locking the knob or lever lock is not enough to protect against break-ins and should never be relied upon as the main security lock.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind you about the proactive measures you can take to keep your home and family safe.
An alarming story, right? Okay — deep breath, exhale.
There are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Here are some reminders about keeping your home safe in a big city.
- Lock your home whether you are at home or away.
- Get good locks, deadbolts preferred. If you don’t have good locks, upgrade (you can talk to one of these PSP member recommended locksmiths: http://bit.ly/1SfsPpY
- If you are in a building, make sure that the locks to the building are secure. Get the landlord or building to upgrade to metal plates put on doors so they can’t be opened easily.
- Do not let anyone in the building you don’t know. Be wary of the vague “I forgot my keys” if you live in a big building. Send reminders to your building that folks NOT buzz in anyone they don’t know.
- Close all windows when you leave the house.
- If you have a glass backdoor consider replacing it or adding a storm door to make entry more difficult. Similarly, think about adding storm windows as well.
When break-ins happen perpetrators most often gain entry by:
- Front doors left open, unsecured.
- Unlocked rear windows
- Fire escape windows
- Forcing locked doors, mainly the front, due to inadequate locks.
- Call 911 immediately if you have a break-in. Often perpetrators are still in the vicinity. Waiting to call 911 can decrease the chances of catching perpetrators.
- There is more safety information on the Park Slope Parents website including stranger danger, safety in Prospect Park safety, street harassment, kids riding the subway alone, and more: http://bit.ly/PSPSlopeSafety
- Secure all windows and doors, even if it’s only for a moment. Air conditioners/window fans should be secured to the window opening to prevent being pulled out or pushed in.
- Install and lock a secondary locks.
- Do not leave your electronics (laptops, iPods, etc) near your windows in plain view.
- Install only FDNY approved safety gates on fire escapes or ground level windows.
- Avoid keeping large sums of money and jewelry in your home. If possible, utilize safes and lock boxes to help prevent theft of your personal items.
- Remember that some windows open up as well as down.
BE ALERT FOR SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY:
- Be alert for strange people in your building, around your home and around your neighbor's homes. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 911 to report any unusual behavior observed. All calls will be kept confidential.
- If you observe unfamiliar people who are attempting to enter your location, notify police to investigate. Especially if they are attempting to enter the building immediately behind you.
- If you see a person and/or vehicle on your block for an extended amount of time loitering with no apparent purpose, CALL 911 to make a report. Please make note of important vehicle information, such as license plate, car model, and color.
- Please refrain from posting any non-official information/descriptions of wanted person(s)/vehicles on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc. as it could interfere with ongoing investigations. Instead, please supply any information to your local precinct.
- If you have any information regarding a burglary please contact your local precinct detective squad.
The NYPD has programs to register your electronics so that stolen items might be recovered (more here: http://bit.ly/PSPOperationID). You can also obtain stickers on your car so that that if it's being driven during 1am and 5am, the police have the right to stop the driver. There are other great safety initiatives too, stickers they can put on bikes, stickers on older people's vehicles, so that if someone 25 and younger is driving the car they can be stopped, etc.
If you are a victim of any crime, no matter how petty, please report it. Find out more here about what to do: http://bit.ly/1qZo8EE
In the end remember that material things are always replaceable, but people aren't. Be safe and don't try to fight or chase an attacker.
This incident took place in the 72nd precinct and from what this mom told me they’ve been very helpful. The folks at the 78th Precinct have also been really helpful over the years.
Made it this far? Great! Thanks for reading, listening, and being a great member of this community. If we all work together we can help ourselves, neighbors and kids be safer!
PSP members recently shared their favorite local businesses to the Advice List.
Don't forget to shop local when you can, don’t forget to take advantage of the 600+ discounts available as part of your PSP membership, and support our local businesses & community!
Here are PSP member favorite local spots:
Dear PSP Members,
I wrote last week about stranger danger and it’s important to bring it up once again. There have been a few occurrences of strangers approaching kids in the last week. I’m in contact with Brad Lander’s office and the local police precincts to get more information to clarify what we know about the different incidents and the danger it may mean for our children. For what it’s worth, I was pleased to hear that children acted appropriately to the situations they faced such as going into a local business to report someone harassing them, reporting to school authorities when they were approached, etc.
Even if these situations don’t pan out to be legit (there is reason to believe that one story was not) it is a good reminder discuss how to educate and arm your kids with good tools IF it were to ever come up. Teaching children the ways to deal with situations will help them build confidence and act in ways that won’t make them a victim. Sheltering our kids and not giving them any freedom may make them think that the world is a scary place when in fact it’s filled with wonderful, interesting people and just a few “skeevy” people to avoid.
The information HERE came from a letter that went home to parents of PS 172. There is some great information here. Please take some time to discuss with your kids.
Here’s an article on the value of fostering a child’s independence and letting go of our kids. It also reminds us that we may need to put a little more trust in other parents that they know what they are doing before we call 9-11 and assume neglect if we see a kid walking alone.
And one statistic from the article worth noting: Kidnapping by strangers is wildly uncommon; in New York State, for instance, the Division of Criminal Justice Services announced that 20,309 children were reported missing statewide in 2011; exactly one of those children was confirmed abducted by a stranger.
Park Slope Parents