Community seeks improved safety

Large crowd attends meeting in response to fatal shooting


The Baldwin community remains shaken by a fatal shooting on Grand Avenue on Aug. 2, with neighbors now seeking ways to reduce local violence going forward.

An Aug. 11 community meeting featuring Inspector Dan Flanagan, of the Nassau County Police Department’s 1st Precinct, attracted an overflow crowd to the Baldwin Public Library, with residents voicing concerns about the shooting, which occurred in front of Love Jones Café, at 1920 Grand Ave., and other safety issues.

Some who came to the forum, which was organized by County Legislator Laura Curran (D-Baldwin), in conjunction with the Baldwin and Baldwin Oaks civic associations, expressed the need for an expanded neighborhood watch program in the area. On Aug. 4, two days after the shooting, which left 22-year-old Daquan Gaskin, of Baltimore, dead and another man wounded, there were shots fired in the area around Baldwin High School, according to police.

“Neighbors have to get together and start talking to each other,” Corey Wilson, who is involved in a neighborhood watch program in North Baldwin, said after last week’s meeting of the need for more residents to be proactive when it comes to addressing crime. “We need more community policing.”

Nicola Galloway said during the meeting that a neighborhood watch program she helps run between Demott Avenue and Williams Street has proven very successful, and she urged more areas to join in the effort. “We’re communicating with the cops and seeing results,” Galloway said. “Our quality of life is better.”

Love Jones Café owner Mike Floyd, who attended the forum, said he planned to get more involved in the community to help make it safer. He said he had fully cooperated with the police during their investigation, and would actively communicate with residents to become as good a neighbor as possible. He added that the bar and restaurant already has a 30-and-older policy ­— it has the option to keep people younger than 30 from coming in ­— and goes out of its way to cater to a professional clientele in addition to hosting many charity fundraisers.

“We’re going to participate in everything going on,” Floyd said.

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