Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brooklyn Bike Patrol Take Back Brooklyn Streets

Jay Ruiz of Brooklyn Bike Patrol
Park Slope, a neighborhood just a bit north of Kensington, has responded to an increase in the number of sexual assaults that have taken place there lately, with a bike patrol composed of volunteers.

Brooklyn bikers will stand at the ready when a woman emerges from the subway station and will offer to accompany her home if she does not feel comfortable walking  alone at night.

Jay Ruiz, a 55 year old dispatcher for a bike messenger company,  founded the group and gave it the name Brooklyn Bike Patrol.  Ruiz said,

“We just want the monsters to stop already.”

The group began escorting women home last Friday.

Ruiz explained that they are not only covering the area of southern Park Slope, but the Brooklyn Bike Patrol will also be on the lookout for crimes in his own neighborhood of Prospect Heights, which has had several robberies in the recent past.

Ruiz explained his motivation: “It’s so bad to see women getting attacked. I feel like I have to do something.”
So far Ruiz has found 10 volunteers to help him cover the area from 8pm to midnight, with an emphasis on the five subway stations in the area.

What finally inspired Ruiz to take action was the “Take Back Our Streets” rally last week which was organized by women of the neighborhood.

"The cops can't be everywhere," Ruiz said. "Just give us a call and we'll have someone there."