A $300,000 late-model Ferrari bearing a police parking placard sat unattended in a No Standing Zone in Lower Manhattan yesterday afternoon, no doubt on official police business. Given that the placard is registered to the Sea Gate Police Department, a private police force wholly separate from the NYPD with full arrest powers that patrols a gated community in Coney Island, 12 miles from where the vehicle was parked, what official business do you think they were on?
The parking sign on 3 Morris Street (Google Maps)
A tour guide who spends most of his day walking around the city, says he spotted the car on Morris Street near Broadway. "I've seen other cops use regular cars and abuse those [placards], but this is just the cherry on top," said the tour guide, who requested that his name be withheld because he did not want to be identified criticizing the police. "Police business? Come on. It's just abuse, man. It's not cool, you know?"
We weren't aware of the Sea Gate Police Department's existence, and neither was an NYPD spokesman.
"There is only one police department in New York City," Sergeant Lee Jones said. Pressed to answer whether any of the Sea Gate Police Department's administrative duties—such as assigning parking placards—might fall to the NYPD, Sergeant Jones replied, "Maybe you don't understand me. There is only one police department in New York City."
An employee at the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association flatly stated that they did not represent the officers on SGPD's force.
Sea Gate's website, befitting of the oldest police force in Brooklyn, directs complainants to a telephone number that has been disconnected. An email to the department wasn't immediately returned. The ninth graders in Miss Henderson's Internet Applications class who designed the department's website were also unavailable for comment.