The free ParentPatrol app — launched this week by state Assemblyman Ron Kim — gives parents and caregivers a quick way to report drunks, drug users and unsavory adults hanging around parks and playgrounds to the city Police Department, Parks Department and local elected officials.
Users can take videos or send a message to report potentially dangerous conditions in the city’s busy green spaces.
Kim (D-Queens), a father of two young girls, said he worked with a software developer to create the app after two frightening incidents took place at Bowne Playground in July. A 12-year-old girl was sexually abused and robbed at the Flushing park in the early morning. In an unrelated case at the same spot, a man went up to an 8-year-old boy, picked him up and squeezed his chest.
He emphasized that people should still call 911 in an emergency and that the app helps track quality-of-life problems.
As of Wednesday afternoon, almost 400 people had signed up for the app and reported more than 70 incidents ranging from drunken behavior to drug use.