Lakeville Estates Civic Association asks POP cop to address illegal parking during Ramadan

Jesse Cooper, a problem-oriented police officer for Nassau County, addressed concerns raised by the Lakeville Estates Civic Association at a meeting on Wednesday. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

As the Islamic holiday Ramadan draws near, members of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association said they’re concerned with illegal parking problems on the streets surrounding the Hillside Islamic Center in New Hyde Park.

The civic association brought up the issue during a Wednesday meeting to Jesse Cooper, a problem-oriented cop from the Nassau County Police Department.

State Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso and North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Lee Seeman also attended the meeting.

Civic Association President Brill Cutrone said during the month-long holiday members of the mosque block homeowners’ driveways as well as fire hydrants.

Cutrone said the mosque draws large crowds from Queens.

“The mentality is a little different because they love to double park in Queens,” Cutrone said. “But we have a problem [with it] in Nassau County.”

This year Ramadan begins on May 16 and ends on June 14.

During the 30 days, observers fast from dawn to sunset.

Residents have called 911, but police do not respond until “well after the fact,” Cutrone said.

Cooper said this is not the first time he’s heard of this problem, and that the department is aware it.

Cooper said that while residents should continue to call 911 to file reports, parking violations fall lowest on the list of the officers’ calls to respond to.

“Unfortunately it’s going to go on the bottom of the list until an officer becomes available if there’s no other higher priority calls, and that’s when they’re going to show up,” Cooper said, adding that often it’s not until after the illegal parkers have left. “We have to designate the man power for the more important emergencies.”

Issues that rank higher on the priority list would include shootings or auto accidents, Cooper said.

Bill Cutrone, president of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association, said there is an issue with illegal parking near the Hillside Islamic Center during the month-long holiday of Ramadan.
(Photo by Rebecca Klar)

Cooper said he has spoken to the leader of the mosque, who he said is “very receptive” and understands what the problem is.

“He told us he tells his followers repeatedly to obey the parking laws … and that if they don’t we have every right to write tickets,” Cooper said.

Several civic association members asked if the auxiliary police could address the situation.

Cooper said the auxiliary police are not authorized to write summons.

The Islamic center is located across the street from the Stop and Shop supermarket on Hillside Avenue in New Hyde Park.

Cooper told the civic association he can try to broker a deal with the owner of the supermarket lot – which one civic member said he previously tried to do to no avail – to see if they would allow people to park there during Ramadan services, which typically fall in the early morning, from about 3 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Cutrone also brought up an issue where residents say a  young lady who claims to have fallen outside asks homeowners if she can wash up inside.

Cooper said the department has received two logged phone calls of the incident.

Cooper said that no crime was committed, since there wasn’t a break-in.

Cooper added that the department is aware of the woman and know where she lives and works.

He also said her story to detectives aligns with what residents reported.

Cooper said if residents see her again and she’s “up to her same old tricks” they should call 911 and report the incident, explaining the that it is a woman who’s been knocking on doors.

“We have her information, and that’s golden because if something happens later on or if she’s spotted later on in the act of a crime we have that information,” Cooper said.

Cutrone also asked Cooper about multiple “attempted and actual car break-ins that have recently occurred.”

Cooper said there have been nine auto larcenies in the area for the year so far.

One was a broken window, Cooper said.

Two were construction vehicles where tools were taken, which follows a pattern happening throughout the county, he said.

The others were all unlocked cars, Cooper said.

Cooper said residents can also keep up with the updates from the police by following their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Rebecca Klar

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