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NYPD Reveals Security Plan to Make 'J'Ouvert Safest Event Possible'

More officers and violence disrupters, plus more lights and entry points will be in effect to keep J'Ouvert safe and enjoyable.
J’Ouvert, BK Reader
Photo credit: Gothamist

More officers and violence disrupters, plus more lights and entry points will be in effect to keep J'Ouvert safe and enjoyable.

The NYPD today announced its security plan for the 2018 J'Ouvert Celebration, which will take place on Monday, September 3 in Crown Heights.

J'Ouvert, the annual predawn street party preceding the West Indian Day Parade, has been plagued by violence in recent years despite increased security. In an effort to cut down on violence and gang activity, the city and organizers implemented even stricter screenings processes in 2017 -- successfully. The NYPD plans to replicate last year's model.

"We learned with last year's success that each of us has the ability to make J'Ouvert a safe and highly enjoyable event," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "Through the evolution of this passionate celebration of Caribbean culture, the NYPD has built trust and strengthened relationships with many of the stakeholders, and we know we're always stronger and more effective together."

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The parade formation will begin at 6:00am on Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to Empire Boulevard. The parade will then proceed south on Flatbush Avenue, east on Empire Boulevard and turn south on Nostrand Avenue to the finish area at Rutland Road.

Security for the 2018 parade will follow closely to last year's plan. The formation area and the parade route will close to the general public on the previous evening. The NYPD plans to dispatch hundreds of additional uniformed officers to provide security at 13 secure entry points and along the two-mile parade route, where participants and spectators will be screened for weapons and alcoholic beverages. In addition, backpacks and other large bags will be prohibited. 

The Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence will also deploy violence interrupters and community partners who understand current and past conflicts, and who will circulate throughout the celebration in order to preempt and resolve any conflicts that may arise.

"The community has a vital role to play to make this J'Ouvert the safest and most enjoyable event possible," said Eric Cumberbatch, executive director of the Mayor's Office to Prevent Gun Violence. "We know that local leaders will be intensely focused on ensuring that the festivities remain a positive experience for everyone."

Hundreds of light towers will illuminate each entry point along the parade route to increase safety and facilitate the ease of entry. The NYPD will also deploy additional high-resolution security cameras to monitor for any unsafe activity.

"Brooklyn is fortunate to have such a large, dynamic, thriving Caribbean community that contributes so much to our cultural and civic life," said City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo. "I look forward to a weekend full of food, music and celebration honoring this incredible community that makes up a critical part of the fabric of Brooklyn! Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, NYPD, and all those working hard to ensure a safe and fun weekend for all."