Friday, July 11, 2008

Saint Ann's Parents Roar as Brooklyn Probation Office Moves into Pierrepont St. Building

Finally, the Feds have revealed just what the heck they were planning for 1 Pierrepont Plaza (aka 147 Pierrepont Street, a Ratner building) in Brooklyn Heights. We were all having great fun speculating on what was going in there a while back. The rumor was that a media company was moving in, but never mind.

What is going in, for those not up on this latest example of brilliant urban planning, is a federal probation facility for 1,700 high level offenders. (Brownstoner was first with this story.) So what's the problem?

The problem is that the very elite private school -- Saint Ann's School -- is already ensconced in the building, and also across the street.

It makes for great jokes -- especially by those who feel that Saint Ann's kids are a bit too precious -- but it's really not funny.

A parent quoted by the Brooklyn Eagle said, "It doesn't take a sociologist or an urban planner to know it's a terrible idea to have a parole facility right next to a school. It's safe to say that parents will all be taking action . . . Believe me, we're not going to sit back and watch this happen.”

But Tony Garoppolo, the chief probation officer for the Eastern District of New York federal court told the Eagle that "the last place convicts are likely to misbehave is at their probation office." He said that two other probation offices have been in the Downtown area for a long time, and nothing bad ever happened.

“We rarely deal with murderers,” he says, “though there may be a small number who have been involved in a conspiracy to commit murder."

Well, that's a comforting thought for parents letting their middle schoolers walk to school for the first time.

Here's an idea: Why not put the facility in the empty Bear Sterns offices at MetroTech?

In-depth story at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Something Big Coming In at One Pierrepont Plaza, Brooklyn Heights?

Photo by MK Metz


Anonymous said...

Here's my favorite quote from the Eagle story(You can relax, mom and dad):
"The probation office will also serve sex offenders, says Garoppolo. The sex crimes are specifically related to the use of computers to download and exchange child pornography – a federal crime. 'Most of our offenders have committed no violent offenses,' he says."

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, in New York State, serious sex offenders can't enter school grounds or facilities caring for kids.

Anonymous said...

so, we shouldn't permit our precious spoiled, no-grades-having kids to be exposed to this. Let's move the Supreme Court building too! They try murderers there. Or the Central Court Building. This is a neighborhood developed around court houses, bail bondsmen, etc. Get over it people, it's not like it's a rehab facility or a homeless shelter.

Phil Vitale said...

Wade--Get over it people??? Listen we're not talking about putting a hot dog stand on the premises. You don't put a facility that deals with federal felons in proximity of a school--any school--even a private one with a lot of spoiled well to do mainly white kids in it. They're still kids. . .

Anonymous said...

Federal Probation, from Wikipedia:
"Supervision Officers must enforce court ordered conditions and are mandated to use their discretion and skills to mitigate the offenders risk to society. Both Supervision Officers and Pre-Sentence Investigators deal with a wide range of offenders, many of whom have extensive criminal histories and pose a serious threat to law enforcement officers."

Anonymous said...

"You don't put a facility that deals with federal felons in proximity of a school--any school--even a private one with a lot of spoiled well to do mainly white kids in it."

Facilities dealing with the Federal felons include the Federal courthouse, and also the offices of the felons' lawyers. Unlike the spoiled, well-to-do kids of all complexions who attend these private schools while their parents pretend they're isolated from the outside world, these guys are allowed, under the conditions of their probation and/or parole, to cross the street unsupervised.

Anonymous said...

yes! maybe we can build a special facility for paroled felons so they can stay out of sight. it's called prison, and that's where they've been let out of. They are citizens just like us, and for us to continue to punish them beyond what the law requires is shameful. That includes keeping them out of sight by not letting them into our fancy neighborhoods. Maybe the kids will learn something by having the federal justice system all around them. The State Court of Appeals is right there too, which I assume handles some criminals from time to time. Seems not to have affected the dainty children thus far, so what's the big freaking deal? What I'm saying is that the likelihood of a federal felon becoming a recidivist within a block of his parole officer is highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

I'm not worried about what they do inside the parole office, or in front of the office. It's what they do three blocks away, after their appointment.

Anonymous said...

three blocks away is the courthouse, and the family court, etc. why aren't you worried about "those people" walking the three blocks to St. Ann's?

When I went to private school in downtown Brooklyn, we had a bona fide crack park right next to the school, complete with homeless shantytown. He had no security guards, etc. to protect us from the world.