Public safety is not only about the physical safety for the community but how we keep our community. In Red Hook there is a lot of concern about electricity in the community. In fact I’ve conducted an interview with a Red Hook resident named Millie. Where she stated on cold nights there wouldn’t be any heat or hot water and when she does put a ticket in housing will turn the heat and hot water so high it’s unbearable. How would you feel living in such unbearable conditions?
I am so passionate about where I come from and the people I know. I know the obstacles one has to take to overcome poverty and the system telling you ‘no’ because of the color of your skin. I can relate, understand, and overlook the hurt because I know who I am and what I am capable of. Public safety is evolving continuously through different aspects of life and situations. I want to work with many populations because it will broaden my ideas and learning experiences. Being a part of a change also means educating yourself and practicing the process every single day! Not just when you are in school or at work.
As a young black woman, I feel indifferent about public safety because the public safety system doesn’t necessarily do much for someone like me. In fact, black femicide is rampant in the U.S, and we have the highest mortality rate in childbirth. I especially feel indifferent about public safety because Black women get killed every six hours. It also has its benefits in certain aspects. I lied; there aren’t any benefits. The only thing I can depend on is being able to put someone in jail. I can only protect myself and arm myself. This is something that me and many other black women have come to realize. The thought of public safety is like a façade, a dream that will never apply to someone like me. Because if we are being honest, who is protecting black women?
It wasn’t until recently that I noticed how segregated Red Hook is. Our neighborhood has a few parks and green spaces. This includes Coffey Park. I have good memories from my childhood that took place in Coffey park, it’s where my family and friends would have fun, play, and have barbecues. Coffey Park is an important part of our neighborhood because it’s an area where Red Hook residents are able to have fun and come together as a community.
There are systematic effects on the public safety of neighborhoods like mine. Through this fathers of black and brown children are targeted by NYPD enforcement. Through this New York believes they can maintain a better control of the “self destructive ghettos.” However, these plans and systems keep the members of these communities anything but safe.
Public safety is when you’re able to go outside and walk around your project community without hearing about it on the news. Things like some people in the community were shot, hearing gunshots when you walk down the street, or that an innocent bystander was getting arrested based on him being a minority. I want to be able to know women can go home at night without them being mugged or robbed or raped or killed because they’re not safe in this world or even men being able to go home without being caught in the middle of a shoot out or gang activity. We need to start investing our time in making changes in project communities. I feel like once we fix the community by investing in it, that will decrease any violence in that community.