The J’Ouvert festivities will receive an official city permit for the first time this year, a move aimed at curbing violence that has plagued the celebration before the West Indian Day Parade, authorities said.
The new safety measures for the overnight festivities include 200 light towers along the parade route and the presence of 2,000 uniformed and plainclothes police officers, double last year’s total, according to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
The new measures come a year after Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was shot and killed after being caught in the crossfire between two gangs.
“Public safety is an all-in commitment, a partnership between community and police to advance the quality of life in our neighborhoods and ensure we have safe spaces to celebrate our cultural pride,” Adams said in a statement.
A new hashtag (#WeAreJOuvert) will help push the message, sharing anti-violence resources on social media.
“The NYPD is committed to ensuring public safety at this very well-attended cultural celebration, which will be reflected in the Departmental resources — personnel and equipment — that will be deployed,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement.
The J’Ouvert festivities take place in the early morning hours before the West Indian Day parade over Labor Day weekend.