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For June 11 event, arena and NYPD will meet to plan for potential congestion

OK, the New York Police Department and the Barclays Center have a plan to manage the large (?) crowds expected for a non-ticketed June 11 event involving traditional Jews protesting apparent plans to expand the Israel draft to encompass more religious school students.

Or, rather, they have a plan for a plan.

At last night's 78th Precinct Community Council meeting, the commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo, said that precinct officials will meet Monday with arena operators regarding plans for the 6 pm event.

"We're going to tell them they cannot have buses" at the same level of the May 2015 event, a weekday memorial, that brought numerous religious students on buses that lingered in the neighborhood rather than wait, as planned, in a Red Hook staging area.

"If they do have buses, they have to stage them," said DiGiacomo, indicating that buses violating the law will be ticketed (which didn't happen two years ago).

Then again, there may be some wiggle room for less blatant violations. One of his deputies, Sgt. Angelo Pirozzi, asked the community "to give us leeway" to ensure that crowds exit promptly, which might involve tolerating buses that, summoned from the staging area, wait longer than expected.

Arena spokeswoman speaks

Sarah Berlenbach, the new Director of External Affairs for Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, said she'd become aware just that day of the vent. (Not in the loop.) "It was booked very recently."

In contrast with the 2015 event, she said, this is "for adults"--but wouldn't high school-age students be protesting too?--and would be at 6 pm. Attendees will be encouraged to use public transit and, if there are buses, "we will ensure they are not idling in front of the arena."

"June 11 is pretty close," said resident Robert Puca from the audience. "If I didn't read this online," he wouldn't have known about it. He encouraged the arena to communicate with neighbors.

Berlenbach said that, whenever the arena team and the NYPD jointly assess potential congestion, the arena will always send out notices to community members. So stay tuned.

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