Tuesday, May 18, 2010

9th Precinct Community Council

Overcoming my fear and loathing of the police is something I should spend some time considering more rationally, and my first step in this personal growth process was going into the precinct for the monthly council meeting and leaving my hostility at the door. Actually, it wasn't difficult as everyone was on their best behavior, saying all the things that police are supposed to say, like on TV and in the movies, but never in real life.

My first ever memory of police contact was sometime in high school when a friend and I were in Port Authority heading toward a bus to the Meadowlands to see a concert. I wish I remember who was playing, but what I recall most clearly was being stopped by police who thought we were runaways. In retrospect they were doing their jobs protecting teenagers, but at the time I felt picked on and my privacy invaded when I had to show them ID though I had done nothing wrong.

Most of my other interactions were based on car-related offenses such as speeding tickets, parking tickets, towing and, most egregiously, an incorrect police report that was not in my favor after a car accident that they refused to even call me back about. I was also never able to get a police report from the esteemed 9th precinct after a tree fell on my car and I needed the report for insurance purposes. Again, never a return phone call. You can read my accounts of that here and here if you are truly interested in my feelings on the subject.

What I liked most about the meeting was that it was short. There were also donuts, which I didn't know about until after they were gone, and that was probably a good thing because how can you eat a donut in a police station and not make at least one joke? I might find that impossible.

Each resident got up, said their piece, the police said they'd look into it (mostly Lt Ferguson) and the next one was up. It was over in under an hour.

The topics of complaint were:
- homeless people
- bar noise
- street crowds
- rude pedestrians
- garbage
- bicycle vandalism


RyanAvenueA said...

Hi Jill,
Thanks for going to the meeting last night. Couldn't make it but will try for June before they stop for the summer. Did any of these topics get more than a "We'll look into it?"

Jill said...

Hi Ryan
No, not really. They took notes and said they would go talk to whomever was causing the disturbance etc. I wonder if these monthly meetings are an indication of the major issues in the neighborhood, or if it's often the same things over and over.

Goggla said...

Donuts, awesome!

Rude pedestrians, really?