This Looks Like Fun

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Like a lot of other little kids, as a toddler, our son Jeremy was pretty much obsessed with trucks. He would page through picture books endlessly, identifying each vehicle: “roller, scraper, grader, fire truck, ambulance, backhoe.” On and on, in a kind of devotional litany to big machinery.

So, I expect this event on September 28th will be of great interest to many of New Rochelle’s youngest residents (and their parents!) Come to Hudson Park from 1pm to 3pm to “Touch a Truck” and also meet some of our city’s great First Responders.

National (and Local) Night Out on August 6

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Join members of the NRPD on August 6th, as New Rochelle participates in the “National Night Out,” with fun, food, games, and demonstrations. It’s a great chance to meet our men and women in blue one-on-one and to build stronger police-community relationships.

The fun starts at 5:30pm next to City Hall. Earlier in the afternoon, you can take a Harbor Boat ride. August 7th is the rain date. See this flyer for details.

One Community

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The Trump Administration’s immigration enforcement tactics — from forcible family separations, to so-called collateral detentions, to menacing tweets that warn of sweeping round-ups — are based on cruelty, fear, and division.

Here in New Rochelle, this is not some distant, abstract concern. ICE conducted operations in our city this very week, and while only a tiny fraction of our residents will directly encounter an ICE officer, thousands of others experience the suffocating fear that comes with knowing one’s life can be upended in an instant. If you are not personally affected, then please try to imagine this feeling; imagine finding it necessary to retreat from any public space, hide behind a locked door, and treat with suspicion anyone who approaches. This is the daily reality for many of our neighbors, children included. And to be very clear, it isn’t a by-product of the Trump Administration’s actions and statements on immigration, it is the goal: a strategy of threat and alienation specifically and intentionally designed to terrorize whole communities and demonize all immigrants, far beyond just the subjects of specific raids.

So what can we do?

Individuals and families at risk can make sure they know their rights. The City posted information from the American Immigration Lawyers Association on its website last week, and there are many other sources of similar information, including from local advocacy organizations.

Allies of immigrant residents can familiarize themselves with this same information and also be especially mindful of the difficult challenges being visited upon neighbors. It is a good time to reach out affirmatively, express friendship, and offer support.

The City’s options are frustratingly limited, and the information received by our PD is minimal. Impeding ICE operations is neither legal, nor advisable, and even providing general notification of impending ICE activities would be ineffective and impractical. But let me take this opportunity to state, as I have in the past, that: (1) the New Rochelle Police do not and will not engage in immigration enforcement; (2) our local civic and Police leadership recognize that everyone’s safety depends on a relationship of trust with immigrant residents; and, most importantly, (3) New Rochelle is one community, where everyone of good will is respected and welcomed.

If there is any positive news, it is that the President’s ugly and shameful policies are rejected by the great majority of Americans. In fact, a broad consensus exists about the right way to approach immigration reform. Most people believe that DACA recipients should be embraced and protected immediately, that undocumented immigrants who are otherwise law-abiding and taxpaying members of their communities should have a pathway to citizenship, and that immigration enforcement should be targeted toward individuals who are genuine threats to public safety, and not toward families and children. I hope that these sensible, humane principles can be put into action beginning in January 2021. It will be a long and often painful wait until then.

Family Court Will Move to Garden Street

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Rendering of the new Family Court on Garden Street

I am very pleased that the County of Westchester has concluded a lease agreement that will keep Family Court services in New Rochelle at a new location on Garden Street. The Garden Street site, which was supported by the entire City Council, will entail the construction of a modern new facility, with easy access to mass transit and population centers. It is expected to be completed in 2021. More detail in this press release from the County.

Fire Station 2 Re-Opens

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Mayor Noam Bramson and Fire Chief Andy Sandor cut the ribbon at Fire Station 2

I was proud to join many of New Rochelle’s firefighters this morning for the re-dedication of Fire Station 2 on Webster Avenue. The rehabilitation of the West End fire house, part of the City’s ten-year capital plan, upholds our commitment to New Rochelle’s First Responders, who need and deserve facilities that are safe, modern, and efficient. Learn more in this press release.

Honoring New Ro’s Finest

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Mayor Noam Bramson with essay winners Alicia Acevedo, Gabrielle Cohen, and Nicholas Picone

I was honored to participate this morning in New Rochelle’s annual Police memorial and award breakfast and especially glad to recognize youngsters Gabrielle Cohen, Alicia Acevedo, and Nicholas Picone, who wrote winning essays describing their appreciation for the NRPD.

Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of New Rochelle’s men and women in blue, our city is among the safest of its size in America. We should never forget the risks that Police officers take every day on our behalf.