Posted by: vote4claxton | September 5, 2001


PROPOSAL: AID KIDS & CUT CRIME DA, cops, victim mom back child-care effort

Wednesday, September 5th 2001, 2:23AM

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, police officers and the mother of a homicide victim called on lawmakers yesterday to increase funding for child care programs that have proven to prevent crime.

Citing a new study that shows unsupervised teens were three times more likely to commit crimes than others, they joined with a coalition of police chiefs, district attorneys and crime survivors in calling on lawmakers to pay now to prevent tragedies later.

“The young man who killed my son was 26 years old and lived in Brooklyn and had a long criminal history,” said Carolee Brooks.

Her son, David Pottinger, was shot Aug. 29, 1991, in a botched Manhattan burglary.

“Had this man had support and intervention in an after-school program or early childhood, maybe his life would be different and my son would be alive and he would not be serving his life in prison,” Brooks said.

In a news conference on the steps of Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge, the organization, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, called on the federal government to invest an additional $2.6 billion on the Head Start program, child care block grants and expanded after-school programs.

It also called on state legislators to increase funding for after-school and violence prevention programs by $45 million and set aside $177 million to help poor families pay for quality child care.

The organization also proposed spending an additional $625 million to train child care workers, build centers and expand universal prekindergarten in state schools.

“It’s not rocket science,” Hynes said. “No one in law enforcement today can take a serious approach to public safety without engaging young children. Studies have shown that early intervention programs makes a tremendous difference in reducing crime and violence.

“We should send a strong message,” Hynes added. “Don’t cut the funding. Help us teach children to be responsible. Help us do something to increase public safety.”

According to a recent national poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, 86% of adults said crime and violence could be reduced by expanding programs, said Fight Crime’s New York director, Jack Kennedy.

The poll showed adults by a ratio of six to one supporting increased funding for youth education and prevention programs, rather than investing in “security measures like metal detectors and policing around schools,” Kennedy said.

NYPD Detective Marq Claxton of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care pressed legislators to see him as a success story.

The detective called himself a product of youth programs that turned him away from gang violence as a youth and toward a career.

Such programs, he said, not only save children in high-risk areas from getting involved in violent activities, but enhance “the quality of life for all children.”


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