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Thursday, November 22, 2012

NYPD: Evidence, Police Property Destroyed by Hurricane

As the New York City Police Department assesses the damage to its properties from Hurricane Sandy, including the loss of about 200 of its vehicles, NY1 has exclusive video of the heavily damaged 60th Precinct house in Coney Island, which was evacuated during the storm.

The destructive force of Hurricane Sandy is a continuing headache for the NYPD.

At the 60th Precinct in Coney Island, basement walls were smashed, knocked down by the raging water. The station house was evacuated weeks ago. There's still no direct electricity there. The lights and equipment powered by generators. And police have been forced to work out of another station house for now.

“They have significant structural damage that's going to have to be addressed,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Officers in the 60th Precinct say jail cells in the basement aren't used that often because they have holding cells on the main floor. Officers say that when the flooding started, they didn't have any prisoners inside the station house. They say the basement cells had water to the ceiling.

When officers heard walls cracking, they ran out of the building, fearing it would come crumbling down. While the department says it was able to maintain regular patrols in the community, other aspects of policing may have been compromised. Critical evidence may have been destroyed at a property clerk warehouse in Greenpoint.

“It may be some DNA evidence,” Kelly said. “It may be some other types of evidence that was flooded that we kept at our storage facilities. Significant flooding has taken place, no question about it. We are still trying to sort through this and assess the total damage.”

The NYPD has started to notify district attorney offices and other law enforcement agencies about damaged evidence that may impact criminal cases.

“It is going to have to be addressed in a case by case basis,” Kelly said. “What's available? Is it partially available? Is it totally destroyed?”

While that review continues, the department knows that 200 of its vehicles were definitely destroyed.

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