(Excerpt from ghostwritten article on crime rate increase)
There are over 30 streets, crossed over with five avenues that make up Sunset Park. There are rows upon rows of brownstones. There are more than 100 stores located on 4th and 5th Avenues, selling goods anywhere from food to clothing to pet and beauty supplies. The drop in crime is apparent in the shops: there was a time not long ago when every bodega in Sunset Park utilized bulletproof windows to protect the cashier. Residents were afraid to leave their house after dark, sometimes even during the day. Before crossing on a one-way street, people would look both ways and wouldn’t leave the train station without a much trusted friend.
According New York Police Department statistics, there have been zero incidents of rape or murder this year, which decreased 100 percent from 20 years ago.
Ramesh Kahn has lived in Sunset Park for over 40 years. Kahn recounts endless stories of needing to be home before it was dark while he was growing up in the “’hood.” “My parents wouldn’t let me walk home from school until I was in my late teens.” Kahn was reminded of how careful he needed to be to avoid speaking to strangers and making sure no one was following him. “Over and over again, those speeches came every day, even in my 20s while I was coming home from Polytech.”
Residents were constantly wary of their actions and would do everything in their power to make sure nothing went wrong, but that changed for the Khan family. “I have two young daughters and I don’t feel the need to shelter them the way I was,” he said. He warns his girls and lectures them just as any other parent would, but he also gives them freedom. “They can go to the park with a group of friends, and as long as I can see them from the window, they can stay on the block past dark. This neighborhood has changed, my kids are good; they’re safe.”