Muslim Community Patrol Forms in Brooklyn

Co-founders Sami Uddin Razi (left) and Noor Rabah (right), and volunteer Younis Elsallaj (middle). (Photo by Zainab Iqbal via Bklyner)

In November, a group of Sunset Park residents started Muslim Community Patrol & Services (MCPS) as they “felt there was a need for such service considering the political climate and the fact that hate crimes have been on the rise across the country,” writes Bklyner’s Zainab Iqbal. The group was inspired by the Shomrim neighborhood watch force in Orthodox Jewish communities. The borough is also home to the Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol.

Currently, there are 35 volunteers that are registered with MCPS. They are hoping for the number to double by next week. Members include two retired NYPD officers, a current Homeland Security officer, current correctional officers, current chaplains, and those who’ve served in the military.

Members started the training process this week and in initially plan to start patrolling in Sunset Park and Bay Ridge. While they seek Muslim volunteers, “they reiterate that their services are not only limited to Muslims.” In addition to patrolling, MCPS also offers job training and counseling and services geared toward seniors and youths. Members also feed the homeless on Fridays.

Co-founder Noor Rabah explained that their purpose is not to replace the NYPD.

“It should not be confused that this movement is something to eradicate or to substitute the NYPD,” Rabah said. “The NYPD is there to do its job. We’re just there to work on a community level. And when there are things that are out of our control, then, of course, we’re calling the NYPD. We understand the laws of the land and we are not overstepping our boundaries.”

Patrol groups can make a citizen’s arrest but why will MCPS avoid doing them? And how will members try to help the Jewish community during Shabbat? Find out and read more on how MCPS is being received among community members, and online, at Bklyner.

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