NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Brooklyn District Attorney has announced plans to expand a neighborhood crime prevention program that offers safe haven for anyone in trouble.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, longtime Brownsville residents said the Pitkin Avenue shopping area is a changed place since DA Charles Hynes launched the Safe Stop program.

There are now a total of 253 stores borough-wide that bear the Safe Stop decals, which invite anyone who is being harassed or followed or who feels unsafe on the street to drop in for help.

Hynes on Monday announced an additional 35 businesses in Brownsville have joined the Safe Stop program.

“Many people don’t know where to turn if they are in trouble or they may feel intimidated going to their local police precinct or just may not know where it is,” Hynes said in a statement.

Hynes said business owners are trained to know where to refer people when they come in for help.

Ennis Johnson, known as Supreme, works for the group Men Elevating Leadership for Youth.

“It actually is a shock because no crime is actually happening here and it’s amazing to wake up in the morning and everything is OK for a change,” Johnson told WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell. “I grew up, raised out here all my life and I’ve seen it worse.”

The Safe Stop program began two years ago. The expansion in the Brownsville neighborhood came through a partnership with the DA’s office and the Pitkin Avenue Business Improvement District .

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