According to Rafael Salamanca, the Hunts Point Community Board's district manager, the main force driving criminal activity were the strip clubs in the mostly-industrial area.
But where there used to be four strip clubs, now there are none, with Platinum Pleasures being the last to go after having failed to keep patrons interested as a topless juice bar upon losing its liquor license last year.
"We were able to get rid of all strip clubs that had liquor licenses in the Hunts Point area in the last two years," Salamanca
credited partnerships with elected officials who helped convince the state liquor authority to revoke and cancel the topless entertainment bars' licenses.
The hard work has paid off, he
added, as Hunts Points has become a safer place.
Having these clubs in Hunts Point
, they were creating the atmosphere of violence, prostitution and crime," he
"In getting rid of these establishments, definitely crime has decreased.
The fighting, shootings, the stabbings that were coming out of these clubs, has decreased."
The police resources that were being put there to avoid this violence, now these resources have been put throughout the district to address other quality-of-life issues that the district has.
That should be the case with the police department, they should be addressing our quality of life, not playing security guards for these clubs because they cannot control their customers after-hours," said Salamanca
Our community board hasn't taken a position as to what they would like on that piece of property," said Salamanca, the board's district manager.
"There's been conversations on a church, there's been conversations on a recreation center, a restaurant.
So I cannot officially comment as to what the Community Board would like there."
, who has been living in Hunts Point
for all of his
33 years, commended Stutzman and Real Life Church's work in the community.
has a great church, they do great work, that you have to give him credit for," said Salamanca
, adding that he
and Pastor Stutzman have talked about the strip club possibly becoming a church.
repeated, however, "I work on behalf of the community board so since they haven't voted on it or taken a position, I can't officially say what we'd like at that location."