recently read about your Internet Safety Educational Program aimed
at protecting children from cyber bullying in our schools throughout
I have established a Hate Crimes Task Force to counter the violence perpetrated against members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. This task force was created to combat the high rate of hate crimes in the community, and is designed to protect victims by giving them an outlet to report crimes and seek advocacy and assistance.
The Task Force has established a set of initiatives such as the implementation of “Project Reach-Out,” which provides resources to members of the LGBTQ community and HIV-positive survivors of violence. The Task Force has also set up a 24-hour hotline that hate crime victims can call. When someone calls the hotline, at any time of the day or night, my staff will immediately contact members of the Task Force and they will take action. This plan stems from our understanding that the reporting of crimes by LGBTQ citizens, particularly bias crimes, can be complicated and traumatic, and some victims are reluctant to call 911 or go to their local police precinct. Those who utilize the hotline are accessing a system that will provide them with assistance and treat them with dignity. The hotline number is 718-250-2759, and those with additional questions can access our website at www.brooklynda.org.
Once a complaint of an LGBTQ bias crime is made to my office, our “first responders” that communicate with the complainants will immediately convey the message of support. To that end, all “first responders” in my office are being trained in issues related to the culturally competent service of LGBTQ citizens.
Those who are inclined to commit crimes of violence against
others because they perceive them to be different must be reached at
an early age. They must
be taught that such actions will not be tolerated and that there
will be consequences.
Our Legal Lives Program, which has been serving
Lastly, the Task Force is partnering with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center to develop a program that will educate local businesses on how to best promote safety for LGBTQ citizens in their neighborhoods, and to facilitate reporting when and if hate-based violence takes place in their neighborhoods.
I am committed to the multifaceted approach to address the
problem of LGBTQ violence utilizing both crime prevention programs
that are designed to proactively address the problems that can lead
to such violence, and responsive programs that are designed to
promote reporting and solid investigations when acts of violence do
occur. Acts of violence
against members of the LGBTQ community living and working in