Friday, June 19, 2015

Lots of parks, but not enough PEP officers

From the Forum:

Despite the fact that city Police Department crime statistics for borough parks have fluctuated over the past year, residents and park goers are still concerned about too-few PEP officers patrolling parks.

“We are always concerned with park security in Juniper [Valley Park],” said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association. “We’d like to see more of the PEP officers and urge the mayor and City Council to provide additional funding to hire more officers.”

Holden said that in Juniper there is a “nightly problem” of teens hanging out after the park closes at 9 p.m. and that vandalism has always been an issue.

“We need PEP to patrol the park and protect our beautiful park on a DAILY schedule,” he said, adding that the 104th Precinct is one of the busiest in the city and area cops are logistically unable to give the park the attention that it needs.

But the reality of PEP officers in the city is that they are vastly understaffed and also underpaid, according to their union representative.

Joe Puleo, president of District Council 37’s Local 983, which represents more than 3,000 city workers, including PEP officers, said that there are about 240 publicly-paid PEP officers citywide and another 100 officers paid through private parks organizations.

Queens has only about 20 PEP officers for the entire borough. Puleo added that it is not at all uncommon for people to not see any PEP officers due to their having to cover beaches, such as Rockaway, which is more than seven miles long.

Puleo, a former PEP officer who patrolled Forest Park in the 1990s, said that the reasons for the scarcity of officers are mainly tied to money.


Anonymous said...

For example, the hand ball court in from of the Edward Hart middle school by 149th Street and 25th Drive (Memorial Field Park) is home to pot heads playing the sport, also to boozers sitting in the benches next to the tennis courts.

I saw the other day two adults, one driving a car leaving pot to another by the hand ball courts wearing an EMS shirt giving drugs to a two 12 years old.

Not only park enforcement should be present but police as well.

Young people do drugs by the water fountain behind the hand ball courts an some other throw heavy fire crackers at night.

I even have seen adults, men and women wearing expensive clothing drinking publicly next to the children playground.

Anonymous said...

Gambling, urinating, smoking, and drinking all taking place at MacDonald Park in Forest Hills. Never see anybody getting a fine.

Rich Parkwood said...

Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski lives only blocks away from Juniper Valley Park. She must know about what goes on in her local park, yet nothing is done.

As for PEP officers. They are as bad as the NYPD when it comes to making excuses for bad behavior. A few years ago there was an event in the Firtzgerald Playground that did not have a permit. Loudspeakers were blaring well after the posted park closing time of 9PM. Somehow I had the phone number to PEP. I spoke to a Sgt. who told me "Haven't you heard of the first amendment"? and flat out refused to take any action.

It doesn't matter how many officers PEP or the NYPD have if that kind of attitude is allowed to continue.

Anonymous said...

Deblah zeo is no friend to law enforcement,as is viverito.......... It ain't happening. They don't care.

Anonymous said...

Deluge 311/ 911 with your problems......

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen 1 PEP Officer in MacDonald Park in the 30 years I've lived in Forest Hills.

Anonymous said...

PEPs are useless. No vest, no gun means they dont have the balls to walk upto anyone >10 and <60, since god forbid, they might not come home if a thug pulls out a gun. Just call them paid Park Auxiliaries, they arent police.