NY police say 'Muslim Community Patrol' car not sanctioned by them

New York's Muslim community created a "security patrol" in Brooklyn's Bay Ridge neighborhood in November of 2018.  The "Muslim Community Patrol" car is outfitted to look like an NYPD vehicle, complete with a nearly identical logo.

But the police department told PJ Media that the vehicle is not sanctioned by the department and that it must obey the law.

It should be noted that other racial and religious groups in New York City have community patrols as well.

When the Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol (BASP) launched in 2014, it had close ties to the police department.  "They are our eyes and ears," NYPD Deputy Inspector James Grant, who helped start the program, told the Post in 2014.  The group received civilian-observation-patrol training from the NYPD, as well as support from the volunteer Jewish watch group Shomrim.

The BASP launched with a team of 15 Asian-American residents, walkie-talkies, uniforms, and two NYPD-style patrol cars.  Its members – like those of Shomrim – do not have the authority to stop and detain people, but they call 911 if they witness a crime or spot someone acting suspiciously.  NYPD officers will then come and stop, question, and frisk people if warranted.

These community groups work as part of "broken windows" policing, targeting small-time crimes in order to prevent more serious ones.

The Haredi Shomrim has been around since the 1980s in several New York neighborhoods.  Both the Brooklyn Asian Safety Patrol and the Shomrim act in coordination with the police department.

Not so, apparently, with the MCP:

Yet in a statement to PJ Media on Wednesday, the NYPD disavowed any link to the Muslim Community Patrol.  Any attempts to enforce Sharia (Islamic law) would not be sanctioned by the police.

"This is not an NYPD vehicle," Sergeant Jessica McRorie told PJ Media.  "The NYPD did not outfit or label this vehicle.  This group is not officially sanctioned by the NYPD and they are subject to the law."

There are some concerns that the MCP would attempt to enforce sharia law in their neighborhoods.  The fact that the MCP neglected to coordinate with the NYPD does not instill confidence that they are not religious police.  The neighborhood in question, Bay Ridge, is known as the "heart of Brooklyn's Arab community" but is still a largely white neighborhood of 80,000.  It seems unlikely that the MCP would be enforcing a dress code or other aspects of sharia in a mostly non-Muslim neighborhood.

These "community patrols" are popping up in big cities across the country.  Sometimes they are neighborhood-based, while other groups are racial, ethnic, or religious minorities.  The police give them mixed reviews, but there's no doubt that residents feel a little safer because of them.