Statement from State Senator Jose Peralta


“Amid palpable tension in a post-election environment and days before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office, New Yorkers should become more engage in order to protect themselves and the communities they live in. The alarming spike in hate crimes perpetrated in the City after the general election was particularly troubling. We are not going to tolerate any action pertaining to a New Yorker’s religion, race, sexual orientation, gender and/or immigration status.

“As we call for the establishment of ‘hate-free’ zones in diverse places such as Jackson Heights, it is important we become more involved and reach out to the City’s Police Department to protect ourselves and our neighbors. I understand some local, grassroots organizations are reluctant to collaborate with the NYPD, but this line of cooperation is vital in an ever-changing world, in which threats of deportations are more real than ever.

“One way of banding together and making our communities stronger involves becoming an auxiliary police officer. Assisting our local police precincts is one more mechanism available to fight discrimination on the street, at work, at the local grocery store. Auxiliary cops patrol the streets, and they can play an essential role in protecting us and preventing hate and other crimes from occurring, especially in this day and age.

“An alternative to working directly under the support of the NYPD is to establish a Neighborhood Watch. This is another effective crime prevention tool in which civilians assist civilians who usually live in the same neighborhood. The objective is to keep communities safer and improving the quality of life of all residents. We all must work together to ensure peace and harmony remain strong in the City’s rich and diverse neighborhoods. I know my District, which I call the United Nations of all State Senate Districts, is ground zero for the Trump era’s attempts to target immigrants. Neighbors supporting neighbors, patrolling and watching the streets they know best will go a long way towards protecting all New Yorkers and preventing bias crimes from happening.”

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