Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Could Roosevelt Island Kids Benefit from a “Safe Haven” Program ?


First off, let me say of the many neighborhoods I have ever lived in Roosevelt Island is among the safest I have seen. This post grew out of my reading a story in today's NY Times that the number of stores participating in an Upper West Side Safe Haven program (it's their sticker posted above) has been dwindling as Mom & Pop shops are replaced by larger retailers. I then started wondering whether we are sufficiently teaching our children where to go in an emergency or if an incident were to occur where they would feel threatened. Certainly they could go to the Public Safety office on Main Street but if that is not close enough would they realize where to go?

In most cases they should be able to run into any business on Main Street, the FDNY SOC center, or to any door station of any of the buildings that have door stations (which is pretty much every building except for Eastwood) so with all these locations the kids should have no issue finding a “safe haven” should they need it. But without proper education they may not realize any of this and feel they can only run home to feel safe.

If however the child saw a Safe Haven sticker on each retailer's door or residential building’s entrance perhaps seeing the sticker would let them know safety is right in front of them if they need it. Just an idea. I’ll pitch it to RIOC and the Chamber of Commerce to see what they think.

My only fear would be that visitors to the island seeing numerous Safe Haven stickers might take it as an indicator that the Island needs greater protection or has a crime problem. As a parent I would rather give my kids a tool they can use and deal with visitor misconceptions second.

What is your opinion?

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