The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Meet the New Boss
He's been with the 71st Precinct just two weeks, having replaced Peter Simonetti, so I got me one of his brand spanking new business cards when I stopped by Tuesday evening. He had invited members of the community board to stop by so I took him up on it, along with Rabbi Nachum Gross of the Lubavitcher community. It was a lively chat (what a funny threesome we made!) and I appreciated his intimate knowledge of the streets around here and he even noted a couple of "hot spots" before I even mentioned them. We shared a laugh about the building at 162 Woodruff which the Q recently outed as home to a cult from way back in the early '80s. He said they'd always wondered what was up with that building, such quiet folks keeping to themselves all locked up like that on a super-tough block, eventually selling their Olde Good Things for a living.
Do I have a point here? Not really, except that I've never sat down and chit-chatted with the C.O. of a NYC police precinct before, a good ol' hombre-to-hombre, with "the Man" before. He's down-to-earth, likes to talk about cop-life, and frequently sees the head of the 70th Precinct Eric Rodriguez at the local grocery store and talks shop. That grocery store? It's in Staten Island of course. Which is in NYC, for those of you without a 5-borough map.
Folks in the neighborhood are looking to sit down with him to discuss troubling trends and community policing and he's looking forward to it. He also told me some intense stories about how the bad guys are often aided and abetted by indifference in the parole system, something I'd heard but never confirmed. And he sounded all the right notes to Rabbi Gross about the recent bias beating of a Jewish man not far from the precinct. I know, I know, "alleged" bias beating. I'm new to this "journalistic integrity" bag. And frankly, any savage beating is pretty biased already.
On a related note, today the steady stream of people entering and leaving an apartment at 35 Clarkson continued unabated despite the calls of many on the block. The thugs ride up and down the street AND sidewalk all day on their scooters and (yes) mini-ATV. They've taken the building hostage, the street too I dare say, and I've been following the progress to arrest and evict these low-level hoodlums by staying in contact with the building's managing agent. So...today that cell phone number Captain Lewis gave me came in real handy.
Welcome Jack! We'll be in touch...