The Morris Park Community Association patrol is hitting the road in style.
The MPCA, one of the few remaining community associations in the Bronx that still conduct their own community patrols, received new wheels.
While the MPCA provides many community services, patrolling their neighborhood year round to help keep it safe is a task they have committed themselves to for 40 years.
Their new patrol car, a Lincoln MKZ, has added pizzazz to the job they have been doing out of love and commitment for their neighborhood.
“Our other [patrol] cars are 2005s and they do a lot of street driving so it was time for a change,” said Al D’Angelo, president of MPCA.
“Without the cars we can’t go on patrol and without the patrol, the community’s safety would suffer,” D’Angelo added.
The association has over 25 volunteers who range in age from 26 to the 70s.
“They all know us, the kids know us,” said Frank Agovino, the group’s first vice president and one of the founding members of the neighborhood patrol.
“When [residents] need help, they wave us down. When people are sick, we get the ambulance there,” Agovino explained.
Patrols used to be run from the morning until after midnight, but now they are mostly conducted during the daytime.
The association’s patrol provides the neighborhood with a wide range of assistance, from alerting the 49th Precinct to a robbery, passing along a noise complaint or simply to lend a helping hand to someone in need, according to the MPCA, but they never take matters into their own hands.
Although they are independent from the local police precinct, the MPCA works closely with the NYPD and other local emergency agencies, according to the organizers.
“We help the neighborhood and once the police come, we leave because we don’t want to interfere with their job, we’re just the ‘eyes and ears’ [of the community],” Agovino explained.
The money for the new cars was allocated by Senator Jeff Klein who was born and raised and still lives in Morris Park.
“The Morris Park Community Association has been around for years and I think it’s important,” said Klein. “It just keeps people peace of mind that there’s an active patrol of people from the community keeping them safe.”
The senator’s $100,000 grant paid for two cars. The association already has one of those cars in their possession and will receive the second car sometime in 2018 pending the rebate allowance from the first car.
The MPCA originally planned to purchase Ford models with the grant money, but the dealer they went to for the cars was able to get them Lincolns for about the same price as the Fords they were looking at, according to D’Angelo.
“Jeff Klein’s always been on top of helping this community and especially this association,” remarked D’Angelo.
“I said ‘Look at this! The Morris Park Association driving around in Lincolns’… Now people are going to feel safe and think we’re rich,” joked D’Angelo.