Brooklyn POs Get More Parking
By DEBORAH A. MILES
The lack of parking spaces at the state parole office at 15 Second Avenue in Brooklyn has been an ongoing source of frustration since 2015 for the approximately 90 parole officers who work out of that building.
One factor has been the neighborhood ordinance for resident-only parking that encompasses a three-block radius around the parole office. So the fix has been to have the parole officers park in a Lowe’s lot, about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the parole office.
That lot closes and is locked around midnight. If officers are doing field work, issuing warrants or engaging in some sort of surveillance duty, they often return when the lot is locked. They have had to take a train, bus or cab to get home, and then find transportation the next day.
Parole Officers Latonia Taylor, Legenda Von Evans and Dominique Pettinato and PEF leaders were among a group who worked together to find a remedy for the lack of parking, and it worked. What happened is another example of the power of unionism.
It began when PEF Region 10 Coordinator Ricardo Cruz reached out to members at various work locations.
“The parole officers responded, and my work with them is just one example of what PEF can do when we communicate and work together,” Cruz said. “We started a parole working group to identify issues. It involved officers in Brooklyn, New York City and Long Island, and they all offered their support to find a solution to the parking problem.
“Our PEF stewards helped, as well as PEF Downstate Field Services Director Nisha Banerjee and PEF Legislative Director Greg Amorosi.”
Taylor made a video of her walk from the parole office to the Lowe’s lot.
“Walking alone can be dangerous,” Taylor said. “There are parolees hanging around and drug addicts. Any one of them could try to do something to harm you.”
The parole working group shared Taylor’s video, circulated petitions for more parking places, submitted an application to New York City for an area to be designated for parole officer parking, and contacted legislators in Brooklyn for their support.
On November 23, the day after Thanksgiving, the city placed two signs along one block in front of the office for parole officer parking.
“It was a long time coming, but we are pleased,” Taylor said. “Some people are under the impression that management secured the parking places, but that is not true. It was the combination of parole officers, PEF leaders and staff who brought awareness to this issue. We made some noise, and showed what solidarity can accomplish.”