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NYPD Lacks Resources to Battle 'Drug Market' Outside Clinic: Source

By Janet Upadhye | April 29, 2015 1:10pm
 Locals say that open air drug sales occur regularly at Waverly Avenue and Fulton Street.
Locals say that open air drug sales occur regularly at Waverly Avenue and Fulton Street.
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DNAinfo/Janet Upadhye

CLINTON HILL — Police admitted that brazen drug sales outside a Clinton Hill methadone clinic have been happening for years, but said they don't have enough resources to battle them.

Many residents know the corner of Waverly Avenue and Fulton Street outside the Start Treatment Center as an "open air drug market," where dealers sell to clinic clients and other buyers in the neighborhood, according to residents and police.

The NYPD is aware of the problem but don't have the resources to dedicate a patrol to the corner, a source said.

"Trust me if we could we would add cops to that corner," the source said. "Right now we just don't have the resources."

The problems go back several years.

In 2008, former Council Member Letitia James and former Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries established a task force to battle problems outside of the clinic including "loitering, peripheral drug trade and aggressive behavior of clinic visitors and their hangers-on" according to a Brownstoner report.

Jeffries did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Three years later, James teamed with former Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes to crack down on drug dealing in the area, according to the Daily News.

James, who is now the city's Public Advocate, did not respond to a request for comment.

But the problem persists and police haven't been able to do anything about it, a police source said.

"Apparently, there's been little concerted effort to make progress on this issue...or the effort has come to naught and must be redoubled," said one resident, who declined to provide his name.

"The police must patrol this area more effectively and consistently," the resident added. "There's obviously no officer who walks this beat by foot - who's responsible for the blocks along this stretch of Fulton that are, in the parlance of our times, "hot."

The source confirmed there was no foot patrol at that corner, and said there have been no recent drug-related arrests, but couldn't provide exact numbers.

NYPD's crime map shows four robberies, two burglaries, four grand larcenies and two felony assaults in the immediate area since the beginning of the year, but no incidents of narcotic sales.

There were 32 complaints filed through 311 for loud talking and loud parties near the corner since the beginning of the year.

A security guard and employees at the clinic said they were unaware of any drug sales in the area and officials at the clinic, located at 937 Fulton St., could not be reached for comment.

The NYPD did not immediately comment.