People living near the 69th Precinct station house have a straightforward message for some of the cops assigned there – don’t block our driveways.
Indeed, residents of East 98th Street, near Foster Avenue, turned out in force at the September meeting of the United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA) to voice their complaint, which fell on the receptive ears of the precinct’s commanding officer, Captain Milt Marmara, who was also at the meeting, which was held at the Hebrew Educational Society (HES), 9592 Seaview Avenue.
“If they double-park, make sure they don’t block the driveways,” one woman pleaded, noting that she had been blocked in recently by an officer’s auto on the same day that she had a doctor’s appointment. The precinct is located at 9720 Foster Avenue.
“I don’t want to be inconvenienced,” another woman stressed, noting that there have been times when she has been unable to get out of her driveway for as much as two or three hours.
“It’s a perennial problem,” a man added. “Sometimes we get a good response, sometimes a very poor response. We know there’s a problem parking, but they can’t block private driveways.”
Marmara, for his part, said that the precinct would meet with the block association, to hammer out a workable solution. “We all have to work together,” he told the group, a message he reiterated during an interview that followed the meeting.
“We’re going to meet with everybody,” he promised, noting, “I try to make as many community meetings as possible. That way, I can address people’s concerns before then turn to frustration and they don’t know where to turn. The best thing is when you go to a follow-up meeting, and they say thank-you. I do aggressive follow-up on people’s complaints. We shouldn’t be discussing this issue next month.”
Short term, Marmara told the residents, “Before you’re inconvenienced, if you see vehicles blocking your driveway, call us and we’ll address it.” In fact, he told the residents to provide the plate number when making such a call. “I’ll talk to the officer,” Marmara promised.
Parking issues near precincts are not uncommon, Marmara pointed out. While, he said, newly-built facilities usually have parking for employees, “A lot of the precincts are over 100 years old and there’s no parking for the officers.” Indeed, he noted, the issue has come up at, “About 90 percent of the precincts I’ve worked in.”
That being said, Marmara offered that there are some benefits to living near a precinct. “Crime is very low and the brownies don’t come there because we enforce the area,” he told the group.