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Contretemps over East 80th Street ticketing

Canarsie residents are clearly tired of cops hanging out at Avenue J and East 80th Street during the morning rush hour, waiting to catch cars that make an illegal left turn at that hour.

That issue came up at the January meeting of the Friends United Block Association (FUBA), as one resident suggested that officers assigned to that location to give out tickets be used instead to catch perpetrators that have been robbing people in the early morning hours at bus stops in the neighborhood.

“You have a strong presence there when it comes to the middle and the end of the month,” one resident whose niece had been attacked just days earlier near South Shore High School, told Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, during the meeting at Temple Shaare Emeth, 6012 Farragut Road.

“It’s a quota situation,” the resident went on. “Can’t they just turn their sirens on and tell people not to turn? And we have kids getting mugged, and older people.

“You have them come in vans,” the man continued. “You don’t see them during the day. This has been going on for years. The people in the community know not to make a turn at that corner in the morning. I think the police presence needs to be where kids are getting attacked or older people are getting attacked. It’s a frustration at this point. When it happens to your own family, you start to think about where you are utilizing your force.”

In response, Marmara said, “I am going to tell you, for the record, there is no quota,” a remark that occasioned snickers from some in the crowd.

“But,” he continued, “I can tell you this much. There are certain violations I want officers to look for: Somebody talking on a cell phone, someone without a seat belt, someone violating a no turn signal at that location. We do write a lot of them over there, but I don’t tell my officers to go out there on the 15th. But, what you can’t forget, police work isn’t just shootings and robberies and violence. It’s accidents, people doing dangerous types of maneuvers, like disregarding that signal over there.

“All I can tell you is we are doing our best, and we will continue to do our best,” Marmara added.

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