Before 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was abducted and killed last month the young boy wandered the streets of Borough Park alone, trying to find a way home and unsure who to turn to. And that is something the Brooklyn DA never wants to happen again. And so his office has gone and launched its new "Safe Stop" program to help businesses help those in need. At the program's launch yesterday 77 businesses in Brooklyn had signed up for the initiative. If it does well, the DA hopes the idea will spread to the other four boroughs.
The gist of it is quite simple. Interested businesses are selected and trained by their local Business Improvement Districts as to where to refer people in need and how to help them. Initially only those "whose businesses that we have seen for many, many years," will be a part of the program. Once they've been trained they get a nice "Safe Stop" decal to put in their windows and voila you've got yourself a safe stop. “We are always looking for ways to make Brooklyn safer," DA Charles Hynes said yesterday. “Sometimes people who need help don’t know where to turn. Now, if someone is lost, has a medical emergency, or is a crime victim, they can go into any of these Safe Stop locations.”
The DA's office, which says it has actually been working on this program for some time, hopes to educate children and their parents about the program through brochures that will be handed out in schools across the borough. "I would hope that having these Safe Stop programs all over Brooklyn will save children," Hynes said.