Following a series of incidents of sexual harassment, particularly targeted towards women in North Brooklyn, business owners in the area have banded together, along with the local police precincts, to launch a month-long social media campaign to combat safety concerns.
Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants (BABAR), a coalition of North Brooklyn bars and restaurants, along with the 90th Precinct and several local organizations, have launched OutSmart, an online campaign using platforms like Instagram to promote safety tips in a creative manner. They’ll also be hosting a series of events at Black Bear Bar focused on safety demonstrations.
“The idea for the campaign came about through BABAR’s relationship with our local police precincts,” said David Rosen, BABAR co-chair and operator of The Woods. “Deputy Inspector DiPaolo, the Commanding Officer of the 90th Precinct, approached me about reaching out to the young demographic our industry serves. We recognized that many crimes in the neighborhood could be prevented if members of the community take some simple steps, so he asked if we could develop a mechanism to raise awareness about safety.”
The campaign kicked off with a bar crawl Friday night at the Woods. Each week of the campaign will have a different theme promoting personal safety and practical tips. This includes everything from guidelines on safe traveling to dating. The organizers are using Instagram as their platform – instead of bombarding people with guidelines, the organizers will use creative graphics and images to highlight safety tips.
For example, an Instagram post of a window left open will be followed by the caption: “Did you know…the majority of home burglaries happen as a result of open windows & doors? #UseYerHead #LockTheDamnDoor #OutSmartBK.”
The program came about after six months of research on the part of the NYPD Crime Prevention and Strategic Communications Department.
“As the commanding officer of the 90th precinct, it is very important for me and my officers to work in partnership with the vibrant community that makes our area so unique.” Said Mark DiPaolo. “This partnership helps both the NYPD and our residents work together towards an even safer community.”
The events that accompany the four-week long campaign include an industry mixer, a bike safety workshop, and a self-defense class to be organized at Brooklyn Athletic Club on July 20.
“We want our young people who are going out on the town in Brooklyn to have a good time, and that means being safe,” said Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President. “Partnerships between our nightlife industry and law enforcement to keep the public vigilant on personal safety are critical, and social media is a great tool to reach our younger generations.”
For more information on the OutSmart campaign visit http://outsmartbk.com/