Unmarked vehicles carry summons-toting agents

Cathy and Anthony Compania were shocked when an unmarked black vehicle (right) pulled in front of their SUV, blocking it as three traffic enforcement agents emerged to issue a $115 parking violation for double parking. Courtesy of Cathy Compania

Traffic enforcement has adopted a new strategy for ticketing, using unmarked vehicles. These vehicles are often confused with those used by the NYPD, local residents claim.

Demonstrating the overzealous nature of traffic enforcement, two local residents were recently the victims of this deception for a second time.

On Monday, April 13, Cathy Compania was being dropped off by her husband, Anthony Compania, at 1928 Williamsbridge Road, to pick up some lunch, when an unmarked black vehicle pulled in front of their SUV as he was pulling away to circle the block while waiting for his wife.

Believing the vehicle was a unit from the 49th Precinct, Anthony Compania was ready to cooperate when he received the big surprise. Three traffic enforcement agents emerged from the unmarked car to issue him a parking summons.

The high fines are causing an economic hardship within our communities, and a negative impact on the mom-and-pop shops, as consumers avoid local stores.

“He just dropped me off and then he goes around the block,” said Cathy Compania. “A $7 sandwich cost me $115. It’s totally and utterly ridiculous, that’s why I don’t want to shop around here anymore and why the business districts will suffer. I now go where stores have parking lots.”

According to John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11, the rouge traffic enforcement vehicle has been a problem in the community for some time. “We have received complaints about this vehicle a number of times,” remarked Fratta.

The Companias’ can attest to the reports, having been stopped and summonsed by the vehicle in May of 2008 while dropping their daughter off at Enrico’s, located 1057 Morris Park Avenue.

“They want people to think they are cops so they can give out more summonses,” said Fratta. “The City is showing no mercy with traffic enforcement and it is causing our businesses to go close.”

According to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report through the Office of the Comptroller, in the fiscal year 2007, which runs from July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007, parking fine revenues reached approximately $554,400,818, a $2 million increase over fiscal year 2006.

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