As my colleague Katherine Goldstein reported last month, Occupy Wall Street was quick to set up shop to help people recover in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, collecting and handing out donations in New York City for those impacted by the superstorm. She closed her dispatch with this line: “I imagine both concerned New Yorkers and storm victims alike will remember who was out on the front lines.” Turns out, they have. And, perhaps even more surprisingly, it looks like we can count NYPD officers among that group.
The New York Post explains the situation in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, which was among those areas of the city hit hardest by the storm:
Despite desperate conditions in the Red Hook housing development and residences nearby, there was virtually no crime—and no storm-related deaths. Other neighborhoods like Breezy Point and Coney Island haven’t been as lucky.
Police sources have credited the drop in crime to an unlikely coalition that included the NYPD, Occupy Wall Street activists, and local nonprofits working together to keep storm victims safe.
“This crisis allowed us all to remove the politics and differences we had to do our job, and come to the aid of the people,” said a police source yesterday. “We all rose to the occasion.”
The “police sources” are talking off-the-record here, as they tend to do for reports like this. Still, the story of NYPD-Occupy cooperation (and acknowledgement) is a noteworthy one given it was only a little more than a year ago that the two sides were clashing—often quite violently—in and around New York City.