While Brooklyn has become one of the most desirable places to live, it also has pockets where crime is a serious concern. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report as part of Brooklyn Week.
Crown Heights community members gathered on Utica Avenue Wednesday, calling for an end to gun violence after two shootings in the neighborhood just this week.
"They have a problem right here that needs to be solved, and I just want to help out," said resident Radel Clause.
The rally was organized by the nonprofit group SOS, or Save Our Streets. The organization works closely with churches, tenant groups, at-risk youth and victims.
"Unfortunately, I'm a mother that lost a son, and I'm here as his voice speaking out," said resident Antoinette Brice. "Just touching base with the young people, letting them know that we value them, that the men, they're men of purpose, men of destiny, and they have a future. 'Cause so often, they feel that they're not going to live past 25."
They're issues that Brooklyn voters want the next mayor to address.
So far this year, there have been more than 80 murders in Brooklyn. That's more than any other borough, and they're mostly concentrated in just a handful of precincts.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams has a high-crime precinct in his central Brooklyn district.
"I often wonder, where is the Department of Mental Health? Where is the division of youth and community development?" Williams said. "We need those resources there as well, in partnership with the police department, in partnership with the community."
Police-community relations is another issue. While Williams is a vocal opponent of the New York City Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk, which was ruled unconstitutional this week, State Senator Martin Golden, who's a former police officer, sides with the current city administration, saying that eliminating the tactic is detrimental to fighting crime.
"What you're going to do is, you're going to handcuff the New York City Police Department and you're going to change a dynamic that has been working for this city for many years," Golden said.
Soon, policing will be the next mayor's responsibility.
"We shouldn't be scared," said resident Bernie Benjamin. "We should be able to come here and be like, 'I feel safe.'"