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Greater police presence for Gregory Place, residents urge

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Used condoms have replaced crack vials as the litter du jour along tiny Gregory Place in Park Slope, a street where conditions nonetheless hearken to a more treacherous time, according to local residents demanding an increased police presence there.

“I have seen some very uncomfortable situations — drug transactions, illegal sexual situations, and constant illegal dumping,” said Butler Street resident Emilia Esherifova. “This is the last vestige in Park Slope that is very dangerous.”

Esherifova and other residents attended the Nov. 24 meeting of the 78th Precinct Community Council, delivering the message they hope will resonate with the precinct’s top cop, Deputy Inspector John Argenziano.

“I am afraid to walk by there,” said longtime Butler Street resident Marcia Murray. “There are tons of condoms and illegal activity. It’s out of control.”

Murray said one problem has been replaced by others. “There was a time we had crack vials there, and a concern for needles,” she said. “Now, it’s used condoms and garbage.” In back of an area supermarket, she added, the homeless congregate, and occasionally defecate.

Murray said residents have reached out to the Key Food on Fifth Avenue, which abuts Gregory Place,asking the store to install a new light in addition to the one that is now in use. A manager at the store declined to comment.

“It’s just an unkempt area, and if this keeps on, it will become a dumping ground,” she said.

Argenziano vowed to maintain a police presence in the area, but said that after touring the area, he has not seen any of the issues that residents have been complaining about.

“I walked it on foot, and it looked clean,” he said. “But like I told them, we will give the [area] more attention at night.” The top cop added that his cops have seen no signs of prostitution either.

At this time, there are no plans to install video cameras on Gregory Place, as residents have requested. “They put cameras in high-crime areas,” Argenziano said.

Meanwhile, Esherifova said she will continue to steer clear of the little-known block. “I always take a taxi late at night,” she said.

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