Gotham’s far-left public advocate Jumaane Williams, who’s running to become the state’s next governor, has pushed to slash funding to the NYPD and Department of Defense.
Yet he traverses the city with an NYPD security detail and he lives on a US military base where he enjoys free, around-the-clock security.
The racial justice advocate resides just off General Lee Avenue, named after the Confederate military leader turned target of cancel-culture warriors, on the Fort Hamilton US Army Garrison in Brooklyn.
Anyone who steps foot on the garrison must go through security checkpoints and submit to a background check, a requirement that led to the detainment of an illegal immigrant who was trying to deliver a pizza in 2018. Even so, Williams has pushed for “stopping ICE” from enforcing the country’s immigration laws.
Why does Williams live on the base when so much of what it represents is antithetical to his beliefs? The answer, according to a rep, is housing costs: Fort Hamilton offers relatively cheap housing to a sliver of in-the-know civilians.
“When he needed a new home for his family in 2019, they chose a publicly-available unit in Fort Hamilton not because of its position on a base but because it offered the best unit for his family’s price point and criteria,” the rep for Williams, whose taxpayer-funded salary is $183,801, told The Post in a statement.
Williams, his lobbyist wife and stepdaughter occupy a corner townhouse on the base with an expansive backyard and water views of the Verrazano Narrows for about $4,000 a month.
Similar properties on surrounding public streets rent for closer to $5,800 a month. There are 228 homes on the garrison and 15 percent are occupied by civilians who have to join a waitlist to move in. Beyond Williams, other prominent New Yorkers like local judges and doctors live on the base.
The sweetheart real estate deals are technically open to civilians, but still unknown to most New Yorkers.
“These aren’t apartments listed on Zillow. It’s essentially a gated community with stunning waterfront views protected by tanks and soldiers with M16s,” said an area official with knowledge of the housing process.
In addition to living in perhaps the safest section of the five boroughs, Williams and his family enjoy free parking, access to a large swimming pool, playgrounds, a bowling center, Burger King, Einstein Bagels, Subway, a dry cleaners, a gas station, a barbershop offering $14 hair cuts, and a US Post Office. The suburban trappings are intermingled with military hardware from historic cannons, WWII artillery and modern Humvees.
Williams defended his decision to live on the base despite his beliefs.
“The suggestion that his work to protect, promote, and reimagine public safety would change with his address is belied by his record on these issues for over a decade – that work continues as he advocates for policies to advance community in neighborhoods citywide,” Williams’ rep said.
Joseph Rolland, a 53-year-old Bay Ridge resident who lives just outside the base, disagreed.
“Obviously, it’s very hypocritical,” said Rolland about the anti-NYPD, anti-military pol surrounding himself with free police and Army protection.
“He gets to protect himself, and yet we can’t?” asked Rolland. Williams, in his position as the city’s public advocate or ombudsman, is provided with an NYPD security detail like the mayor, comptroller and other local politicians.
“I feel like it’s a situation where regular citizens are not allowed to defend ourselves, and people like our elected officials can. What I would say to the elected officials is if you’re so anti-police and so anti-gun, then you should give up all of those privileges that allow you to protect yourself.
“I’m not upset that he gets to protect himself on a military base as long as the citizens of the city can also protect themselves, whether it’s through private security or our police department, which we pay taxes for,” Rolland told The Post.
A police source echoed the neighbor’s frustration with Williams.
“You’re saying defund the police but yet you’ve got the police with you every day taking you all over on the taxpayer’s dime? And then you live on a military base and you’re protected by the military? That’s a joke, what a hypocrite. Not a lot of people get those luxuries,” the source said.
-Additional reporting by Tina Moore
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