New NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey and fellow police brass met with business owners in Flushing, Queens Tuesday after community members reached out to law enforcement following an increase in robberies and other crimes in the area.
Maddrey and NYPD officials sat down inside Korean restaurant Hahm Ji Bach on Dec. 13 where they discussed safety and heard concerns alongside Commissioner for the NYC Department of Small Business Services Kevin Kim and elected officials.
The visit came as the Flushing area has seen an increase of robberies by 110.1% since 2021 and the threat of anti-Asian hate crimes are an ever-looming shadow over the primarily Asian neighborhood.
“We see the increase in robberies and other crimes. And the community was very concerned. They reached out to Commissioner Kim, the Commissioner of Small Businesses. He was able to facilitate a meeting with the small businesses and the NYPD,” Chief Maddrey explained. “We are working closely together to make sure we increase safety, that people’s quality of life increases, and that people are able to shop this holiday season and every day of the year, feeling safe and secure in their neighborhoods.”
The NYPD saw the meeting as a success, stating that they were able to offer helpful tips in order to keep locals and their establishments safe and secure, such as installing surveillance cameras and panic alarms. Commissioner Kim championed small businesses as being key to the city’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and charged that meetings like these are crucial to keeping them protected.
“Thank you to all the chiefs and thank you for the NYPD for coming out today. Mayor Eric Adams has made small businesses the center of our economic recovery and safety is critical to making sure that we can thrive and prosper and especially out here in the Asian American community where during the pandemic the anti-Asian hate crimes devastated the businesses. So, we want to thank all of the NYPD officers and the chiefs and the leadership just for coming out and listening and giving us some amazing suggestions,” Kim said.
Chief Maddrey also promised to ensure that extra officers will be available to aid the Flushing community to safeguard their livelihoods, especially during the holiday shopping season.
“We love this community,” Chief Maddrey said. “When they call and say we need a little help, we’ll be here. We’ll always be there for all our communities.”