'Safe Delivery' program aims to prevent crime

April 21, 2010 3:24:21 PM PDT
One New York City borough has launched a new program aimed at protecting some of those mostly likely to be targeted in a robbery. They work alone. They work at night. And they carry cash. It's three reasons why food delivery workers are often robbery victims. Just ask Enrique Arrieta.

"Two guys from the back, they put the knife and said, 'Give me the money,'" he said. "I gave them the money and everything."

To help protect workers like Arrieta, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes unveiled the Safe Delivery program Wednesday. Delivery workers get GPS-enabled cell phones programmed to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.

There is also an ear-piercing alarm that hopefully scares off a potential robber.

Participating Safe Delivery restaurants post window stickers informing people their workers are involved in the program. Some Brooklyn restaurants stopped offering delivery service because of assaults to workers. Restaurant owner Charlotta Janssen hopes the new program will prompt reluctant colleagues to start delivering again.

"I think in this economic hard time, we need to definitely maintain our streams of revenue," she said.

The Safe Delivery program begins right away in the Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights sections of Brooklyn. The hope is to expand the program throughout the borough and across the city.