Police at the 40th Precinct on Alexander Avenue and East 138th St. have long pined for more space to operate from.
Conditions in the Mott Haven stationhouse are so cramped that officers sometimes change into their uniforms in their squad cars. Lockers crowd the hallways, forcing officers to squeeze through.
Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed to fix the problem when he announced in his executive budget earlier in May that he wants to allocate nearly $70 million to the construction of a new stationhouse at the corner of East 149th St. and St. Ann’s Avenue, where an empty lot now stands.
The City Council has until the end of June to vote on the proposal. Cops at the 4-0 are hopeful but guarded.
“In order to move forward we need a new facility,” said community affairs officer Claudia Mera, describing the current digs as “dark and dingy,” but added, “some of the veterans here are reluctant to believe it.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said another officer who said he has heard similar assurances during his five years at the precinct.
In recent years, residents and officials have floated the idea of converting the Alexander Ave. station house into a community center that would provide technology training for residents.