Parks Department officers are under strict orders not to issue summonses for public drinking, urination and other offenses around Arthur Ashe Stadium so as not to spoil the fun for tournament-goers, it was revealed Thursday.
In the past, Parks Enforcement Patrol officers usually wrote hundreds of tickets during the two-week tennis championship, said Geoffrey Croft, the head of NYC Park Advocates.
But this year, officers were specifically told by the head of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park command, “Don’t write summonses during the US Open,” Croft said.
“Talk about a Tale of Two Cities — it’s selective enforcement,” one officer told Croft, who writes the blog “A Walk in the Park.”
“Crime is going up and summonses are down. We’re being hindered from doing our job. The US Open is calling the shots.”
The head of the union that represents the PEP officers, Joseph Puleo, accused the city of “using our officers as political pawns and allowing crimes to be committed without coverage.”