MARCH (PARKING) MADNESS 2022: A Brooklyn Battle of the 84th vs. the 66th

It's Brooklyn North vs. Brooklyn South in our first first-round battle!
It's Brooklyn North vs. Brooklyn South in our first first-round battle!
Click to expand and then print it out and complete!
Click to expand and then print it out and complete!

You’ve waited a full year, but it’s time to fill out your full bracket in our March (Parking) Madness tournament. Yesterday, we gave you the broad overview of why we do this contest, but now it’s time to get down to business where the rubber (usually affixed to an oversized muscle car or Jeep) hits the road (usually in an illegal parking space).

Today’s matchup features two Brooklyn precincts that are nothing short of disrespectful frathouses, according to our readers. So let’s get ready to grumble:

66th Precinct (Boro Park)

A fitting symbol of the 66th Precinct’s disrespect for its Boro Park neighbors is sitting right in front of the 16th Avenue station house. It’s the a massive Chevy pickup truck, with jacked-up suspension and monster truck tires that offers a big “F- you!” instead of “Welcome!” to would-be precinct visitors:

Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

Amazingly, that assault truck hasn’t been nabbed for any speeding or red light tickets — but its owners colleagues are among the most reckless drivers on the road. We spotted two police employees whose cars had six camera-issued speeding tickets each, two NYPD employees with 10 speeding tickets each, another with 10 speeding tickets plus a red light ticket, another with 11 speeding tickets and five red light tickets, another with speeding tickets, another with five speeding tickets and one red light ticket, another with 15 speeding tickets and two red light tickets and another cop with seven speeding tickets and three red light tickets.

Even the precinct’s executive officer, who is second in command to Deputy Inspector Jason Hagestad, racked up two camera-issued speeding tickets and one red-light ticket since late 2020.

Meanwhile, the roads around the utilitarian brick stationhouse are filled with double-parked and illegally parked police officers’ personal vehicles, which are combat-parked in areas that are not even designated for police parking, let alone the back-in, occupying-army style that has become ubiquitous around police stations. Here are a few shots:

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One the block just below the stationhouse, cops back in their cars in a way that blocks people using wheelchairs or parents pushing strollers (relax, it’s not like there are a lot of kids in Boro Park!).

What's going to happen when this old guy needs a wheelchair? Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
What’s going to happen when this old guy needs a wheelchair? Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

But it’s not just scofflaw employees and cops that makes the 66th Precinct stand out in our March (Parking) Madness contest. It’s the manner in which these cops don’t seem to care that their actions signal to the rest of the neighborhood that anything goes.

Boro Park is, after all, the neighborhood that Vision Zero never saw — and the police play a role in that. Walk for even a few minutes in the confines of the 66th Precinct, and you will see speeding on residential streets that will astound you. You’ll see drivers operating their cars while talking on cellphones. You’ll see commercial zones that are double- and triple-parked. You’ll see drivers circling — and U-turning — whenever a rare parking space opens up.

You will see danger everywhere.

It’s not a surprise that Boro Park is also one of the bloodiest neighborhoods in town. Since January 2019, there have been 4,068 reported crashes, injuring 286 cyclists, 426 pedestrians and 608 motorists, killing two cyclists and three pedestrians. By comparison, in neighboring Bensonhurst over the same period, there were 2,523 reported crashes (or nearly 40 percent fewer), injuring 120 cyclists, 199 pedestrians and 501 motorists (killing three pedestrians), or 40 percent fewer injuries, too.

In the larger 66th Precinct, there have been 5,862 reported crashes since January 2019 (or more than five per day on average), injuring 2,019 people, killing four cyclists and five pedestrians. Yet officers under Hagestad’s command wrote just 5,254 moving violations all of last year. Compare that to the neighboring 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park, where there were roughly 600 fewer crashes and 300 fewer injuries — perhaps because the officers there wrote 6,277 moving violation tickets, or 7 percent more. (Officers at another neighboring precinct, the 70th in Midwood, wrote 8,986 moving violations last year, or 53 percent more than their lethargic colleagues at the 66th.)

Does that mean the 66th should win today’s battle? Let’s see.

84th Precinct (Downtown Brooklyn)

There’s a rat at the 84.

No, not a cop who tattletales on his fellow officers. An actual rat. And more than one. And they thrive, thanks to the filth that surrounds the 84th Precinct stationhouse on the northern end of Downtown Brooklyn. And that filth is a result of how cops park at along Prince Street.

Here’s are two disgusting photos (the rat moved too fast for our reporter to photograph but he or she was munching on the garbage in the gray Dumpster in the right of the first photo):

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The filthy house of New York’s Finest is just a symbol of the problem that residents of Downtown have with officers and employees of the 84th Precinct. For years, lawmakers have been begging, cajoling, encouraging, pleading with the 84th Precinct to crack down on placard abuse that is the neighborhood’s great scourge — turning the Schermerhorn Street bike lane, the off ramps of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway into a used car lot, and most bus stops into parking lots.

Of course cops don’t crack down — they’re among the biggest offenders, as we reported here, here and here.

Much of our coverage centered on prior police commanders, but there is little evidence that Deputy Inspector Adeel Rana cares any more than his predecessors.

At the Gold Street stationhouse, cops still ring the building with their combat-parked cars, which spill over onto neighboring streets. Here’s some of the evidence:

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And cops at the 84th are notoriously reckless drivers. We ran the plates on all cars in the NYPD parking zone or parked nearby with a placard and found:

  • One cop with 39 speeding tickets since January, 2021.
  • One cop with 16 speeding tickets since December, 2021.
  • Two cops with four speeding tickets and four red light tickets.
  • Another with 34 speeding tickets and two red light tickets (and a tampered plate!).
  • Two cops with 10 speeding tickets in two years.
  • One with 11 speeding tickets and one red light ticket.
  • Five cops with five speeding tickets and one red light ticket.
  • One with six speeding tickets and three red light tickets.
  • Many cops with three or four serious moving violations
  • A firefighter with an expired 2017 placard with seven speeding tickets and two red light tickets.

How little concern do the cops at the 84th Precinct show for basic rules? One car parked in an NYPD-only space had North Carolina plates — and has 13 speeding tickets, two red light tickets and 10 parking tickets since July. There’s no way that person lives in North Carolina — and there’s no way it’s legal to register a car in North Carolina if you live in New York City. (And even if it is, a driver should not be exceeding the speed limit by 11 miles per hour, running red lights or parking in front of hydrants, as this perp’s record shows.)

And here’s our favorite: the car parked in the parking space of the commanding officer of the Special Victims Unit not only has received five speeding tickets and one red light ticket since April, 2020, but it also had a defaced plate, presumably to avoid more tickets. Don’t worry, our reporter fixed it:

There was one point where we were fooled into thinking that the 84th was actually taking reckless driving seriously:

For a second, it looked like a cop pulled someone over. No, it's just illegally parked cars. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

For a second, it looked like a cop had pulled someone over just before the scofflaw made his way to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But on closer review, it was just two illegally parked cars. And the one with the license plate — NomadN7 — has three speeding tickets.

Oh, and one last thing: We thought the NYPD barred its employees from displaying these kinds of decals:

One cop had a White supremacist symbol on his or her car. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
One cop had a White supremacist symbol on his or her car. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

So which precinct will advance to the next round? Please vote before Thursday at noon.

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