MARCH (PARKING) MADNESS: The Finals! The 41st vs. The 84th

How far we've come. Click to enlarge.
How far we’ve come. Click to enlarge.

Welcome to the final match in our monthlong March (Parking) Madness contest, a tournament to determine which police precinct treats its neighbors the most disrespectfully. (Here’s what we mean.)

In this corner, the Western Regional champions, the 41st Precinct, serving disrespecting Hunts Point since moving to Longwood Avenue from the old (and racist) “Fort Apache” stationhouse in 1993. The finalists will face off against the 84th Precinct in Downtown Brooklyn, which has powered through the first three rounds thanks to a focused assault on its neighbors in the Ingersol Houses and the newer luxury buildings on Gold and Johnson streets.

What a battle. Let’s get ready to rumble:

41st Precinct (Hunts Point)

First, a recap: The 41st Precinct must have friends enemies in the Bronx because in every round of this competition, Captain Anthony Mascia’s officers faced opponents who were far more adept at disrespecting their communities, yet wound up on top anyway.

In round one, the 41st beat the 44th, which we dubbed “The Hell under the El” because of its egregious disrespect for the neighborhood in the form of reckless drivers and barricades, but it was really nothing out of the ordinary.

In the borough final, the 41st triumphed over the 48th, even though not a single personal car was parked on the plaza in front of the Longwood Avenue stationhouse. Yet the 41st got 72 percent of the votes!

In the Final Four against Manhattan’s 24th Precinct, the 41st won again, even though the Upper West Side stationhouse was the site of so much illegal parking, the place looked like a junkyard.

So something is going on with voters in the Bronx.

The Finals: Monday, April 4

Look, it needs to be said, clearly and concisely: The 41st Precinct does not deserve to win lose this competition. On all our prior visits and in our first of two visits for the finals, we really didn’t see any of the egregious disrespect that is so common at other stationhouses. Yes, there is combat parking on the precincthouse block — Longwood Avenue between Southern and Bruckner boulevards — but it consisted of only a few cars and may have even played a role in some traffic calming.

And the vast windswept cement plaza in front of the stationhouse was completely devoid of cars. Now, we know that sounds like the way it’s supposed to be always, but given what we’ve seen at other precincts, we always thank heaven for small favors. Here’s a picture of that plaza:

No cars. And there are even dogwood trees.
No cars. And there are even dogwood trees.

Yes, the city should install benches and a few picnic tables, but no one would use them at the corner of Longwood Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, which is such a car sewer that it would mask almost anything that the cops at the 41st were doing anyway.

We were disappointed by the combat parking and by the barricade at the precinct front door (photos below), but we can’t say that the 41st has any business being in the finals. We don’t like to tell our readers how to vote, but this location is simply not a March (Parking) Madness winner loser. Captain Mascia is not the villain here (at least when we’re talking about parking at the stationhouse).

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84th Precinct (Downtown Brooklyn)

First, a recap: No precinct in this competition has been as consistently awful as the 84th. In the first round, Deputy Inspector Adeel Rana’s troops had a laugher, thanks to allowing such disgusting conditions that we spotted a rat.

In the borough final, we reported that the precinct block has so many more crashes than neighboring blocks, no doubt because of all the combat parking. Even the local Council member was quoted expressing outrage.

And in the Final Four, the 84th moved past the heavily favored 110th Precinct of Elmhurst when that notorious precinct not only didn’t put up its “A” game, but the 84th truly distinguished itself when we spotted a car parked in Rana’s space with nine speeding tickets and two red-light tickets in the last 12 months. And obviously, the cops here continued to park on sidewalks and block pedestrians at every turn, not to mention allowing the entire precinct to become such a placard abuse hotspot that former Mayor de Blasio launched his placard corruption squad late last year in this very area.

Not that anything changed, of course, but you get the idea.

The Finals: Monday, April 4

Not to sound like a broken record, but when the originators of Streetsblog started this contest, the 84th Precinct was exactly the kind of precinct they had in mind.

As the recap above showed, Rana is running the opposite of a tight ship. And on our first visit of the Finals, we found that the horrible conditions and disrespect of the neighbors was as bad as always — and this fish continues to stink from the head down (that same car was in Rana’s CO spot in back of the precinct, still there with its 14 total camera-issued tickets, and the 11 since 2021).

This time, of course, there was a squad car on the sidewalk in the back, which is worth noting because it hadn’t been there on previous trips:

squad car on a sidewalk on Prince 1a
Here’s a squad car on a sidewalk.

But believe us, that’s nothing compared to other affronts you’ll find on all four blocks ringing the Gold Street stationhouse. Let’s start on Tillary Street, just north of the building housing the 84th and the Special Victims Unit. There, you’ll find multiple illegally parked cars, but one stands out: a car with a police placard on the dash and 42 — forty-two! — camera-issued speeding tickets since Jan. 6, 2021, enough to require the cop to take the city’s safe-driving course or risk having the sheriff seize the car (we asked the Department of Transportation if it has sent this driver a warning letter and will update this story if we hear back).

Also parked illegally on Tillary Street are more than a dozen cars, some belonging to firefighters, some belonging to cops. The roadway is something of a gateway to Brooklyn, but uniformed municipal workers here have turned it into another parking lot.

Here’s what that looks like:

The gateway to Brooklyn — sullied.
The gateway to Brooklyn — sullied. And all the illegal parking on the left makes Tillary Street more dangerous.

Missing from that picture above is a firefighter with a “Back the Blue” sticker on the back window of his big pickup truck. Whenever we see people exhorting the rest of us to defend “law and order,” we often run the plates to find that such police patriots don’t believe in following their own advice. This FDNY placard perp has four camera-issued speeding tickets and three camera-issued red-light tickets. Presumably this guy “Backs the Blue” so they won’t give him tickets (fortunately, cameras aren’t fooled by fake flattery).

The precinct block — Gold between Tillary and Johnson streets — was, as always, fully combat-parked, but no more egregiously than normal, except for a placarded Hyundai parked on the sidewalk, and a squad car blocking a hydrant as if to say this is completely normal. Also on Gold Street, we spotted our old “friend,” the cop who has defaced both his front and back plate — EHP8519. Even with the rubbed-out plates, he still has received 10 camera-issued speeding tickets in the last 12 months, and 38 camera-issued tickets overall, according to Howsmydriving. (This cop has even got the rarest of tickets — Misuse of Parking Permit — in 2019, but it didn’t change his behavior.)

Here’s what his plates look like:

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Just south of the stationhouse, Johnson Street was its usual shitshow, with NYPD vehicles and cops’ cars parked on the sidewalk in the “No standing” zones both west and east of Gold. Here are some photos:

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The last of the four blocks surrounding this stationhouse is Prince Street between Johnson and Tillary streets. As always, the entire west side of Prince is combat-parked so tightly that pedestrians can’t use the sidewalk. You’ve seen this before, but it bears repeating:

The whole street is full of garbage, too.
The whole street is full of garbage, too.

We also spotted at least five cars on the sidewalk including one car without the required front plate and a record that includes 13 camera-issued speeding tickets and three camera-issued red light tickets since late 2019. The car has also been ticketed twice for failing to have a front plate or proper registration. You’d think this cop would learn — but since no one in this city gets punished as long as the tickets get paid, of course he’ll never learn.

So, at long last, dear readers, can you stop stuffing the ballot box for the honestly not so bad 41st Precinct and give the March (Parking) Madness trophy to the one stationhouse and commander who really deserves it? Vote now. Polls will remain open until Thursday at noon. And send this story to everyone you know.

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