Muslims Form Community Patrol. Some Neighbors Say No, Thanks.

“I anticipated some form of, ‘Wait, what is that?’ however not, ‘Wait, what the hell is that?’ Mr. Rabah stated. “There’s an enormous distinction.”

Some within the Muslim group have been equally startled, however for a unique purpose: The vehicles’ resemblance to New York City police cruisers stoked anxieties fairly than allayed them.

Somia Elrowmeim, the grownup schooling and girls’s empowerment supervisor on the Arab American Association of New York, based mostly in Bay Ridge, stated a single misstep from the patrol might replicate poorly on the town’s whole Muslim group. She stated extra outreach to group leaders was important earlier than patrols started working.

Until then, Ms. Elrowmeim, 34, supplied this message: “We don’t want you near our community.”

The 68th Precinct, serving Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, fielded a flurry of calls from involved residents after the social media posts, main police officers to carry an introductory assembly with Muslim Community Patrol members to debate parameters: Call 911 in the event that they encounter one thing suspicious, and take no enforcement motion on their very own. “We expect them to follow the law in general,” a Police Department spokesman stated.

No date has been finalized for the beginning of patrols, Mr. Rabah stated. Before the rollout, members will attend group board conferences to elucidate the patrol’s mission and to reply questions from residents. On Friday, the group met with members of the influential Arab American Association of New York, whose vice chairman, Habib Joudeh, had stated he was not informed concerning the patrol group till after the backlash prompted by the picture of the automobile.

“You have to inform people of what’s going on first,” Mr. Joudeh stated.

Unlike the Shomrim, which patrols in autos and on foot, the Muslim patrol will function solely from patrol vehicles, Mr. Rabah stated.

“We know our place: We are not cops,” he stated. “We are simply patrollers for the community that also serve as the eyes and ears for the N.Y.P.D.”

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