Tourists and ex-cons will mingle under a secret plan to move an NYPD property office to tony DUMBO — allowing people fresh out of jail to retrieve their stuff in an area filled with much-promoted attractions for out-of-towners.
Community officials are outraged that the city would relocate the clerk’s office to a garage on Front Street, below the Brooklyn Bridge, without notifying locals. And the cops, they said, are refusing to address concerns that it could lure a law-breaking crowd.
“The city needs to answer important questions before moving the office,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights). “I’m disappointed that it has not been transparent about what is happening with this site.”
The NYPD depot — which stores jewelry, cash and other belongings for people while they’re in jail — will move from Gold Street, next to the 84th Precinct stationhouse, to an NYPD-owned garage near Old Fulton Street.
And when the repository moves, it will bring former prisoners along with it.
“The type of people who will be loitering around puts residents, families and tourists at risk,” said Joan Zimmerman, president of the Fulton Ferry Landing Association. “What happens when the people waiting around decide they want to go explore? The city couldn’t have chosen a worse place.”
The new storehouse is steps from Brooklyn Bridge Park, Grimaldi’s and other tourist spots near Pier 1, but it’s also around the corner from a middle school on Dock Street that’s slated to open in two years, and Jane’s Carousel, a merry-go-round opening this month.
The property clerk’s job is to safeguard property that the Police Department acquires after an arrest.
The clerk also stores lost-and-found items, vehicles, and the firearms of cops going on leave, retired officers, and civilians waiting to obtain a gun license.
As a safety measure, people are required to leave the office with their firearms in a locked safe.
Community Board 2 District Manager Rob Perris said that the city is exempt a public approval process because it’s relocating into a building that it already owns.
“Like a lot of things in life, there’s a ‘have to’ and then there’s a ‘should,’ ” Perris said. “I would hope that city government would operate with a bit more transparency than that.”
The Police Department declined to give a rationale for the move.
©2011 Community News Group
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