Brooklyn Heights Blog » 84th Precinct Dispatches from America's first suburb Sun, 14 Oct 2018 23:43:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 National Night Out Against Crime – Tues., Aug. 7, 4:30 pm at Pier 5 Tue, 07 Aug 2018 02:10:57 +0000

The 84th Precinct Community Council invites all to the National Night Out Against Crime- Neighborhood Safe Streets Rally, at the Pier 5 Picnic Peninsula in Brooklyn Bridge Park, on Tuesday, August 7 at 4:30 p.m. There will be entertainment, refreshments, ice cream, games, and face painting, as well as bicycle and scooter registration. Bicycle accessories will be distributed by the Department of Transportation. See flyer and video below.


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Donate Children’s Books to the 84th Precinct This Weekend Sat, 23 Jun 2018 14:15:52 +0000

A message from Officer John Kenny:

Patrol Borough Brooklyn North will be rolling out its new literacy initiative on Monday, June 25, 2018. Each precinct will dedicate a small area as a free children’s library. This library will be available to any child who wishes to read or keep these books as a way of promoting reading and making books easily accessible. The 84th Precinct is in need of used children’s books ASAP, so anyone who has books they would like to donate, it would be very much appreciated. Books can be dropped off at the lobby or can be picked up if necessary.

If you need books to be picked up, email your Neighborhood Coordination Officers at:

Officer Donovan Hunt |

Officer John Condon |

84th NCO


(Lead photo courtesy wikimedia/Kalamazoo Public Library.)

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Neighborhood Safety Meeting – Tues. June 12, 6 pm, at Borough Hall Thu, 07 Jun 2018 23:47:22 +0000

A message from 84th Precinct Sector A’s Neighborhood Coordination Officer Donovan Hunt:

Hello All,

This Tuesday, June 12, we are having our next Neighborhood Safety Meeting at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., 2nd Floor, at 6:00pm. Come by and join the discussion going on in and around the community, ask questions, or just listen to what others are talking about. Refreshments will be served. Please forward to your neighbors and colleagues. Hope to see you all there.

NPO Meeting







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Car Crashes Into Lamp Post on Montague St. – Pedestrians Spared, The Lamp Post Not So Much Mon, 12 Mar 2018 23:20:10 +0000

Our tireless resident journalist Mary Frost of the Brooklyn Eagle reports that a 2005 GMC Envoy jumped the curb on Montague St. and crashed into a “bishop’s crook” lamp post outside TD Bank today at about 1:15 p.m. The lamp post likely spared the lives and limbs of jurors, court staff, students, and others who descend on Montague St. for a banh mi or burger right around that time. The driver seems fine too, but no telling what made him lose control of a vehicle on a clear day, on a one lane street, when he legally could not be driving over 20 mph.

Less lucky was the lamp post which was unceremoniously disassembled and carted off to its final resting place. RIP “bishop’s crook” lamp post, we hardly knew ye.

TD Resize 2


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BHA Annual Meeting: P.S.8’s Phillips and Others Honored; Expert Panel Dubious about BQX Wed, 01 Mar 2017 06:03:32 +0000

Court hearing on Pier 6 towers has been rescheduled–see below. At Monday evening’s annual meeting of the Brooklyn Heights Association, BHA President Patrick Killackey (photo) began by asking, rhetorically, what a neighborhood association can do in a time of political turmoil. He answered by arguing that the nature of the times requires more action at the local level. We might not, he said, be able to bring about the disarmament of North Korea, but we can do, and have done, things that can improve our lives and perhaps inspire others to do more, both in our community and in others. As examples, among others, he cited the Promenade Gardeners and those who fought to reduce helicopter noise in the Heights and nearby.

Mr. Killackey noted some new developments. The BHA House Tour, which ended in 2015, will be replaced with a new Designer Showhouse event to take place in September of this year. More details are forthcoming. On Monday, March 6, there will be a hearing in court on the BHA’s lawsuit to prevent construction of two high rise residential buildings near the Atlantic Avenue entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Update: The new hearing date before NYS Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings will be Friday, March 17th at 11:00 AM at 71 Thomas Street, Room 203, in Manhattan.

Mr. Killackey noted with regret the departure of DCI Centa as commander of the 84th Precinct, but expressed confidence in his replacement, Capt. Roberto Melendez. Mr. Killackey reviewed the progress that had been made under DCI Centa, including the installation of cameras on Joralemon Street and the appointment of two community affairs officers to Brooklyn Heights.


Awards for community service were presented by Heights resident and Channel 13 personality Tom Stewart (photo above), who got a good laugh for announcing that the first award went to La La Land. The real first award for community service went to Irene Janner, who served on the P.S.8 PTA during the years of the school’s transition from struggling to desirable, was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Brooklyn Bridge Park, and was treasurer and office manager for the BHA. The second was to Love Our Pool, a group of parents who fought to keep the Pop-Up Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park open for at least another summer, while the Park finds another way to provide a swimming venue. The third was to community activists Judi Francis and Ren Richmond, and to the law firm Jenner & Block, which has donated its services pro bono, for their fight to keep high rise towers from being built near Pier Six in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


The BHA’s top award, the Martha Atwater Award, went to Seth Phillips (photo above), who became principal of P.S.8 when it was still a struggling, underperforming school to which local parents tried to avoid sending their children, to one so successful that it now has an overcrowding problem. He was also instrumental in expanding the school, and in establishing a new middle school, I.S.8, to relieve the shortage of nearby, attractive middle school options for local students.

The meeting concluded with a panel discussion, moderated by New York Times writer Jim Dwyer, and featuring experts on transit matters. The topic was the proposed “Brooklyn-Queens Connector,” a streetcar line that would connect Sunset Park in Brooklyn with Astoria, Queens. The panel members were. in general, skeptical of the project. The notion that the project could be financed by property tax increases on adjacent properties was questioned because the properties along the line were either fully developed or too small to produce the needed revenue. Engineering problems related to the route being mostly within a flood plain, and lacking a dedicated right of way, which would mean traffic delays. Concerns were also expressed about the ability of the proposed route to connect with other means of transit, such as subways and buses. Finally, it was argued that money would better be spent on improvements to transit on underserved areas like East New York and others on the City’s edge. One panelist said that underserved areas near the proposed BQX route, such as the Red Hook Houses and other NYCHA housing near the Queens waterfront, could be served more economically by providing better bus service connecting to subways.

The audience seemed mostly hostile to the BQX proposal, as each criticism of it from the panel attracted a vigorous round of applause.

All photos by Andrew Porter.

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Heights Burglaries Continue in New Year Mon, 16 Jan 2017 01:01:40 +0000

According to Alexandra Leon in DNA Info, the rash of burglaries in Brooklyn Heights that began in December has continued into January. Of the seven burglaries reported in the first week of January, at least one may have occurred earlier. A theft of $66,410 worth of jewelry and accessories from an apartment near Hicks and State streets was reported on January 2, but could have taken place between December 21 and then, apparently the time the victim was away on vacation. Police say the burglar got in using a key left in a mailbox. Other early January burglaries occurred on Henry Street (two apartments in the same building near Henry and Joralemon were hit on the same day), Montague Street (Montague Street Bagels lost $1,000 in an early morning break-in), Remsen Street, and Sidney Place. Most of the residential burglaries took place during the day, when the apartments weren’t occupied.

The DNA Info piece quotes Brookyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray as urging residents to “take the common-sense steps to secure their apartments.”

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Seven Burglaries in Last Two Weeks in Brooklyn Heights Fri, 30 Dec 2016 20:32:22 +0000

This just in from Brooklyn Heights Association:

The 84th Precinct notified the BHA today that seven burglaries of homes and apartments have taken place in the Heights over the last two weeks. The break-ins occurred during the work week when apartments and homes were unoccupied. The NYPD believes that they took place during daytime hours.

Since one burglary occurred in a doorman building, a fire escape may have been used to gain access through unlocked windows. Doors were forced open in some instances.

The NYPD cautions residents to lock their doors and windows whenever they are away from their dwelling. There will be extra police officers patrolling the Heights in response to this situation, but the NYPD needs your help to apprehend the perpetrator. Be alert and call 911 immediately if you see any suspicious activity.


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Thefts in Brooklyn Bridge Park Wed, 14 Sep 2016 16:35:02 +0000

A series of “park plunders” took place in Brooklyn Bridge Park in the past week according to Brooklyn Paper’s “Police Blotter.”  On September 7th at about 9:00 pm, two men left their bags at the foot of Furman Street to play soccer.  When they returned the bags were gone, their wallets and phones along with them.

On September 10th, two men left their bags unattended at Pier 2 to shoot some hoops.  Their bags were discovered missing at 9:45 pm.  Finally, a young woman who had borrowed a bike from her roomate and locked it up near Pier 5 at about 5:00 pm, returned several hours later to find the lock had been cut and the bike had vanished.

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Brooklyn Heights Added to Neighborhood Policing Program Thu, 04 Aug 2016 04:27:56 +0000

The Eagle reports that our local 84th Precinct has been added to the NYPD’s neighborhood policing program. According to the Eagle story:

Neighborhood policing — the modern version of the cop on the beat — is meant to build stronger partnerships between police and their local communities. Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) work closely with the community to identify and manage local concerns, the officials said.

The same two officers will be assigned to each sector every day. They will be briefed on local concerns and given appropriate resources.

When we have further details, such as the identity of our NCO, we will report them.

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Meet Cops of 84th Precinct at “National Night Out” This Evening Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:13:17 +0000

This evening from 5:00 to 8:00 at the Picnic Peninsula, near the foot of Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Bridge park, officers of the 84th Precinct, NYPD, will host a free event for the “National Night Out Against Crime”. Precinct officers, mounted police, and elected officials will be present. There will be entertainment by various local artists, and refreshments, including ice cream. You may register bicycles and scooters. Come meet our men and women in blue, let them know your concerns, express your appreciation, and enjoy their hospitality.

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Four Recent Robberies in the Heights: 84th Precinct Asks Residents to Take Precautions Fri, 01 Jul 2016 19:43:01 +0000

This just in from Brooklyn Heights Association alerts:

Be Aware and Remain Safe!

The 84th Precinct notified the BHA today that four crimes have been committed in the Heights since the second week of June. Cell phones were taken in two incidents, a purse stolen in a third, and last night the victim resisted and was slashed. These crimes have occurred on Henry Street between Montague and Clark Streets and on Hicks Street near Love Lane, all between 7:30 PM and 11:15 PM. The police believe the same perpetrator – and in one incident, two persons – is involved and has been using the Clark Street station. The police are asking Heights residents to take reasonable precautions: refrain from using your cell phone at night on the street, be aware of your surroundings, and if possible, walk with others. Extra police details – both uniformed and plain clothed – have been assigned to streets in the north Heights and to the Clark Street station.

Exercise situational awareness!

Be safe everyone; that text can wait, whether you’re walking or driving.


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Cops Turn Away Parkgoers At Pier 2 Basketball Courts Fri, 27 May 2016 00:20:47 +0000

According to today’s Gothamist report, parkgoers were shut out of the Pier 2 basketball courts starting at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. People who were already there were allowed to stay, but no one else was allowed in. NYPD confirmed that there was no particular incident, but that the shut-out was implemented to control the crowds. There was no head count given at the time, but an NYPD spokesperson said “it got very crowded.” The official capacity under the Pier 2 roof, encompassing the basketball courts, handball courts, and the roller rink, is 800 people.

Gothamist quoted an unnamed Brooklyn Heights resident as saying she and many neighbors were happy with the increased police action at Pier 2. “Brooklyn Bridge Park has really engaged with all the stakeholders. Everyone is very happy about that,” she said. A Brooklyn High School of the Arts student, Kahliyah Brown, didn’t agree. “It’s bad that people fight, but we all get to hang out and meet new people. The amount of cops that come here, they pressure us and make us feel a little unsafe rather than protected.”

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Centa Promises Increased Police Presence And Vigilance At Park And In Heights Thu, 19 May 2016 15:07:19 +0000

At Tuesday evening’s 84th Precinct Community Council Meeting, as expected, Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa (photo), the Precinct Commanding Officer, faced many questions about security in Brooklyn Bridge Park and on Brooklyn Heights streets, especially Joralemon, used by pedestrians going to and from the Park. He noted that his requests for additional officers to be assigned to the precinct had been successful, with twelve new officers assigned recently and twelve more coming. He attributed this principally to the explosive population growth in Downtown Brooklyn, with many new high rise apartment buildings completed and many more under construction or planned. Crime in the precinct has, he said, remained low. There have been several burglaries lately, in areas outside Brooklyn Heights. In each case the burglar entered through an unlocked door or window, and he urged people to keep these secured. He said the only type of crime that has increased steadily is fraud, principally through identity theft involving bank or credit cards.

D.I. Centa said there is a substantial police presence in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer. His “summer detail request” was met; as a consequence there will be 24 officers in the Park, with overtime on weekends. On Sundays, when there are often as many as 65,000 visitors in the Park, there will be thirty to forty officers present. The officers will be mobile, with bikes, scooters, and Smart Cars. Deployment will be concentrated on Pier 2.

Regarding Pier 2, D.I. Centa said he had taken the initiative to clear it before it became crowded on two occasions, because of indications that fighting was planned there. Asked how he obtained this intelligence, he said that he “didn’t want to give away trade secrets”, but allowed that one closure was caused by a Facebook posting. He said he is prepared to close the pier again under similar circumstances. He also kept Pier 2 closed for a day following closure because of a fight involving sticks and bottles, saying he was concerned that those involved might return to try to finish things off.

Asked if he was aware of what happens on Joralemon Street after pier closings, D.I. Centa said yes. He said police would regulate traffic at these times, and might divert some of it to Atlantic Avenue. Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Peter Bray said there had been incidents along Joralemon between Court and Furman streets, at times unrelated to pier closings, in which residents had been jostled and sometimes forced off sidewalks. He said the character of the affected blocks had been changed. Heights resident Jeffrey Smith described the situation as a “Heights-wide emergency”; Gothamist quotes him as having said, after the meeting, that he would get in his car, go Upstate, buy a couple of cases of shotguns, and hand them out.

Other issues affecting Brooklyn Heights were raised at the meeting. One resident complained of government tagged vehicles occupying “No Parking” spaces around Clinton and Joralemon streets. Another made an emotional plea to stop allowing people attending Sunday services at Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral to park their cars on bike lanes, as this forces bike riders into traffic. D.I. Centa said this is a “courtesy” afforded to religious institutions throughout the city, and that he would not change it. The question of resident parking permits was raised, but it was pointed out that this is a State issue, not an NYPD one.

Those who wish to participate in the NYPD’s Operation ID, in which valuable portable electronic devices are registered and may be engraved with an identification number, were asked to call Officer Diana Torres at 929-371-4503.

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84th Precinct Community Council Meeting Tuesday Evening; BHA on Pier 2 Issue Mon, 16 May 2016 01:26:23 +0000

The 84th Precinct Community Council will meet this Tuesday evening, May 17, at 7:00 p.m., at The Theater @ The Schermerhorn, 160 Schermerhorn Street (between Smith and Hoyt streets). All are invited; refreshments will be served.

The agenda includes presentation of the Cop of the Month Award, a presentation by Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa on “High Tech Operations For Each Police Officer”, a Transit Police Report, and a Precinct Crime Report, with Actions and Results. After that, there will be opportunity for attendees to ask questions. No doubt there will be some about the recent incidents at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Brooklyn Heights Association has been in communication with the 84th Precinct on Pier 2 issues, including pedestrian traffic through Brooklyn Heights on the way to and from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Precinct has assigned 16 additional police to the Park. BHA representatives will meet this week with representatives of the 84th Precinct and with Brooklyn Bridge Park officials “to discuss needed changes to ensure safe use of the park and protection of our community.”

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Five Borough Bike Tour, Road Closures This Sunday Sun, 01 May 2016 05:48:03 +0000

Thanks to this correspondent’s penchant for late night surfing, The Blog has just learned of this Sunday’s TD 5 Boro Bike Tour.  Now in its 39th year, the ride consists of “32,000 cyclists of all skill levels [who] come from around the world to roll through every borough of New York City on streets totally free of cars.”

DNAinfo and the NYC Department of Transportation website both outline the complete list of street closures scheduled to take place along the event’s 40-mile route and confirms all closures remain in affect between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm.   Here are the details for our neck of the woods.


  • Navy Street between Flushing Avenue and York Street
  • York Street between Navy Street and Gold Street
  • Gold Street between York Street and Front Street
  • Front Street between Gold Street and Old Fulton Street
  • Old Fulton between Furman Street and Prospect Street
  • Cadman Plaza West between Prospect Street and Tillary Street
  • Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Adams Street
  • Brooklyn Bridge Promenade between Tillary Street and Centre Street
  • Furman Street between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Joralemon Street between Furman Street and Atlantic Avenue
  • Atlantic Avenue between Furman Street and Columbia Street
  • Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and BQE West Entrance Columbia Street
  • BQE/ Gowanus Expy between BQE West Entrance Columbia Street and Verrazano
  • Verrazano Bridge Lower Level (Southbound from Brooklyn to Staten Island)

Your curious reporter called the 84th Precinct around midnight to inquire about how both Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge traffic would be directed.  The officer had no information but offered that teams were “going out now” to place notices.  But, as of press time, exactly zero “no parking” signs or barricades were visible on Cadman Plaza West.

Moral of the story: If if you have any plans to travel on Sunday-take the train.  And, be sure to refer to Claude’s handy dandy Subway Service Alerts.



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Capt. Centa Gives Area Crime Stats at Community Council Meeting; Two Cops Honored Thu, 19 Nov 2015 04:58:11 +0000

At last night’s 84th Precinct Community Council meeting, Precinct Commander Capt. Sergio Centa gave an overview of crime statistics and trends year-to-date in the area. Note that these stats are for the entire 84th Precinct area, not just Brooklyn Heights.

There have been no murders in 2015. Rapes, however, are up by fifty percent over the same period in 2014. Capt. Centa noted that the majority of these have not been stranger-on-stranger rapes but rather among people who knew each other before the crime was committed. Some involved sex with those considered too young to give consent. If reassuring from the point of view of someone walking home alone late at night, this is still a very disturbing statistic. Robbery and burglary are each down by twenty percent. Felony assault is up considerably. Capt. Centa said this is almost entirely attributable to the re-population of the Brooklyn House of Detention, and consists of inmate-on-inmate assaults.

The biggest problem areas, Capt. Centa said, have been in the area of non-violent property crimes. Grand Larceny is up considerably. Much of this–31 incidents–is attributable to theft of unattended property–backpacks and the like left on the sidelines while owners play sports–in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Other sources of GL are Citibikes (yes, they get stolen), identity theft, and shoplifting. Capt. Centa noted that there are now more upscale stores in the 84th Precinct area, and this has attracted more thieves. Grand Larceny Auto is also up, with over half of the stolen vehicles being motorcycles. See below for how two brave and lucky cops put an end to the career of one motorcycle thief.

There were many questions from the audience. One concerned the 84th’s response to the gunfire in Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park last summer and the later looting of a deli on Joralemon Street. Capt. Centa said he had responded by asking for additional officers to be assigned; this request was denied, although he was given authority to have extra overtime on weekends. (Neither the shooting nor the looting happened on a weekend, but rather on a weekday afternoon or early evening.) He is trying to do with what he has, including assigning a mini patrol vehicle to an officer in the park so as to allow quick response throughout the Park’s lengthy area.

There were many suggestions about how to avoid theft of packages left outside doors when the recipients aren’t home. Some audience members noted that some big delivery services like UPS now allow delivery to your local store of theirs (UPS is on Montague between Clinton and Henry) or to local shops.

Another question, from the mother of an M.S.8 student, concerned the lack of crossing guards. Capt. Centa said he did not think this was a budgetary problem, but instead one of recruitment. He encouraged everyone to try to get more people to apply for crossing guard jobs.

There was one question about a topic that has come up on BHB, that of the small group of homeless men who have taken up residence at Joralemon and Court streets. Capt. Cento wasn’t aware of this, and said the men would be given appropriate attention.

Saving the best for last, there was the Cop of the Month Award, This time it went to two partners, Officers Alex Guess and Gustavo Jaramillo. In the photo above, Community Council Chair Leslie Lewis is at right, then officer Alex Guess, then officer Gustavo Jaramillo, then Officer Jaramillo’s wife, with Capt. Centa in the background. Officers Guess and Jaramillo were jointly awarded as Cops of the Month for having spotted a stolen motorcycle with the thief riding, then blocking the thief’s way, which caused him to dismount and run down Gold Street directly toward the precinct house. A quick radio call from our heroes in hot pursuit summoned a phalanx of cops to block his way and arrest him. In custody, he confessed to four other motorcycle thefts, and received a scolding phone call from his mother.

On a sad note, Capt. Cento noted that there will be an unveiling ceremony for plaques memorializing slain officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos will be held on December 21, the anniversary of their deaths. A plaque memorializing Officer Alain Schaberger will be unveiled on March 13, 2016, the fifth anniversary of his death.

There will be no 84th Precinct Community Council meeting in December; the next will be on the third Tuesday in January, which is January 19, 2016. Mark your calendars.

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84th Precinct Community Council Meeting Tuesday Evening Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:53:12 +0000

As this poster, taped to a lamppost at Hicks and Montague proclaims, there will be a meeting of the 84th Precinct Community Council tomorrow (Tuesday, November 17) evening, starting at 7:00, at Congregation Mt. Sinai, 250 Cadman Plaza West (just south of Clark Street). Precinct Co-Captain Sergio Centa will present the 84th Precinct 2015 Year in Review, there will be a Transit Police Report and a Cop of the Month Award. As the poster says: “Bring your friends and neighbors. Refreshments will be served.” This is a very important community event; try to attend if you can. I will.

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