Safe Haven Program Expands To Communities North of 110th Street

During a news conference on December 1, 2009, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer announced plans for extending the West Side Crime Prevention Program's (WCPP) successful Safe Haven program to Manhattan communities north of 110th Street. Stringer was joined by Anoune Mbengue, whose newly opened Subway sandwich shop at 281 St. Nicholas Avenue and 124th Street, served as the conference location and is the first store north of 110th Street to join the ranks of more than 300 Safe Haven stores on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Together, Stringer, Mbengue, Public Safety's Manager Crime Prevention Programs Ricardo Morales, representatives from the NYPD and P.S. 180, as well as other supporters attached an official yellow decal to the Subway shop's window, introducing it as a Safe Haven.

Stringer said, "Expanding the Westside Crime Prevention Program beyond the boundaries of the Upper West Side to include West and Central Harlem, Manhattanville, Morningside Heights and Hamilton Heights means more Safe Havens in more neighborhoods for our kids. This program proves that when communities work together with local law enforcement officials, we can prevent crime and increase safety for our most vulnerable New Yorkers [children]."

The Safe Haven program, which was introduced more than 20 years ago in the neighborhoods between 59th and 110th Streets from Central Park to the Hudson River, recruits local stores who are ready, willing, and able to offer help to anyone who might feel threatened while walking in the community. Participating stores display WPP's yellow decals or Columbia's Red Lion logos in their storefronts to identify them as Safe Havens. In the event of an emergency or threat, these merchants agree to allow the community member to wait in their establishment and will notify Public Safety and the NYPD.

Funding for the Safe Haven program is courtesy of Columbia Community Service, which represents donations from Columbia University faculty and staff; elected officials: Gale Brewer, Inez Dickens, Tom Duane, Richard Gottfried, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Daniel O'Donnell, Bill Perkins, Christine Quinn, Linda Rosenthal, Eric Schneiderman, Scott Stringer; as well as TD Bank, Con Edison, CapitalOne Bank and Bloomberg, L.P.  

Columbia University Department of Public Safety has registered and screened over 120 businesses proximate to the Morningside, Medical Center, and Manhattanville campuses. To view a complete list of Safe Havens in these communities, please visit:  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/publicsafety/Safe%20Haven%20locations.pdf. Stores in the Columbia community that are interested in becoming Safe Havens should contact:

Columbia University
Department of Public Safety
Morningside: (212) 854-2797

Medical Center: (212) 305-8100
www.columbia.edu/cu/publicsafety