Reports indicate that officials are making changes to the annual J’Ouvert celebration that takes place during the early morning hours of the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
The NYPD said it plans to set up 12 checkpoints along the J’Ouvert parade route, and alcohol and large bags will be banned. Those who attend the parade will be subject to wand detectors at each checkpoint.
J’Ouvert start time is also being moved up two hours later from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Approximately 400 officers will be dedicated to checkpoints, along with 1,600 officers who will be patrolling the entire parade route. Light towers will also be installed throughout the parade route.
“We’ve been working on this since the day after J’Ouvert last year, working with the community, working with [Brooklyn Borough President] Eric Adams, Laurie Cumbo from the City Council, with the community and the people who run the J’Ouvert parade,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “This is the best decision going forward to try to keep people as safe as possible,” he explained Friday at an unrelated NYPD event.
In June a town hall meeting about safety at J’Ouvert was hosted by Assemblyman Walter Mosley. Community members and other elected officials gave their input on the best way to ensure safety at the event.
Changes to J’Ouvert come after shootings that occurred at the event three years in a row. Last year, two people were fatally shot and in 2015 Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s aide Carey Gabay was killed.