No new home for 63rd Precinct

The search for a new home for the 63rd Precinct has slowly become a decades-long journey with no end in sight.

As they’ve done for the past several years, Community Board 18 last week put in a request with the city to find a new site for the stationhouse at 1844 Brooklyn Avenue between Avenue I and Avenue J, making it one their top ten capital budget priorities for the 2011 fiscal year.

Once again, the city shot down the request, citing the troubling fiscal times facing the city.

“NYPD’s funding constraints, project capacity and department priorities rule out including the project at this time,” city officials told Community Board 18 members — an answer that didn’t sit well with board member Eileen Cullen.

“I was just in there on Monday,” Cullen told the board. “I hadn’t been inside for almost fifty years and the place hasn’t changed one iota. If it was my house it would have been condemned.”

Both board members and Community Council members have continually complained about the conditions of the 63rd Precinct stationhouse, which is so antiquated that cops actually had to set aside space to create a woman’s bathroom and locker room about 20 years ago since they weren’t part of the building’s initial design.

Many claim that their biggest problems with the stationhouse is that it’s on a residential street in Flatlands with virtually no parking and on the far side of the precinct that also encompasses Marine Park, Georgetowne, Mill Island, Mill Basin and Bergen Beach.

Inspector Frank Cangiarella, the commanding officer of the 63rd Precinct, took the news in stride.

“[The precinct] meets our needs, especially in this current fiscal situation,” he said. “There’s no issues with maintenance, the heat works and the roof keeps us dry.”

The building is over 100 years old, Cangiarella surmised. Before it was built, the 63rd Precinct was actually dispatched from the same area — a residential home that can still be found on the block.

“I guess we’ve already been upgraded once,” Cangiarella joked.