The 99th Precinct featured on the hit network comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn’t exist in the NYPD, but its station house does. Sort of. The show, which aired for 8 seasons from 2013 to 2021, was shot on the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City, California – not in Brooklyn. All of the interior scenes at the police station took place on a fabricated set. Exterior establishing shots, however, were shot in New York City. In those shots, the 78th Precinct station house in Prospect Heights stands in for the headquarters of the fictional 99th Precinct where Capt. Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) manages Det. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), and the rest of the ragtag ensemble cast.
The 78th Precinct station house is located at 65 6th Avenue, right down the street from the Barclays Center and Atlantic Terminal. Its Renaissance Revival architecture is typical of civic buildings built at the beginning of the 20th century. This precinct house was constructed in 1925.
The 78th Precinct covers the Park Slope neighborhood, including Prospect Park, parts of Gowanus, and parts of Prospect Heights. This area of coverage matches what the 99th Precinct covers on the show. If you look at a map that can be spotted in the background of a scene in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it looks exactly like the map of the 78th Precinct.
Why isn’t there an actual 99th Precinct in New York? In total, there are 77 precincts across all five boroughs, but the numbers span from 1 to 123. Each borough has been allocated a block of numbers which breaks down roughly to 1 to 39 for Manhattan, 40 to 59 for the Bronx, 60 to 99 for Brooklyn, 100 to 119 for Queens, and 120 and up for Staten Island. This system left room for new precincts to be added New York Times reporter Tammy La Gorce explained in a 2017 article.
Some numbers have been decommissioned as precincts are abolished or combined with neighboring ones. For example, there is a 73rd and 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, but no 74th. The 74th merged with the 78th. Television shows and movies typically use these discarded numbers. Some precincts don’t even use numbers at all, such as the Central Park and Midtown Precincts. At this time, the Brooklyn precincts only go up to 94, but there is a possibility that the 99th precinct may become real one day.