The Hell’s Kitchen community is seeking a change in the New York Police Department’s disregard for the city’s parking laws. Christine Berthet, speaking as co-chair of Manhattan Community Board 4’s Transport committee said: “Don’t park on the sidewalk, it’s illegal.”
Her fellow co-chair, Dale Corvino, went further at the meeting last night, in response to complaints about the NYPD parking outside the Midtown North Precinct on W54th Street. “If your precinct acts like an occupying force on 54th street, it will not engender trust with the community,” he said. Earlier, in a tweet, Corvino had said that NYPD should “stop behaving like occupiers and to put the public they are sworn to serve first.”
Corvino also pointed to the way the officers parked their cars with disregard to the public and how NYPD had placed barricades in the street without notification to the community.
The issue became a focus after Charlie Todd tweeted a picture at the weekend of his children being blocked by parked NYPD cars. He said: “Thumbs down to NYPD Midtown North Precinct for continually making 54th Street inaccessible to strollers and wheelchairs, by parking on the sidewalk despite many community complaints.”
The tweet had over 250 responses.
The committee has had conversations with the recently appointed Commanding Officer at Midtown North, Deputy Inspector Megan O’Malley. She recognized that this was inconsiderate of her officers and explained that vehicles needed to be nearby because of issues with vandalism of police cars.
The committee will work on plans to get the police to parallel park on the street. In the meantime, NYPD issued a memo earlier this month to all officers, emphasizing that “absent urgent or necessary police action,” they are subject to the same parking regulations as every other New Yorker.