From the NY Post:
The NYPD is keeping the public in the dark about how many crimes are committed in city parks by releasing stats only from the 31 biggest, according to a top city pol.
Felonies in those 31 parks soared 44 percent from April to June this year, compared to the same period last year — and the jump would have been even more frightening if all the crime were accounted for, according to City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
As a result, the Queens Democrat said Friday, he is now pushing a new bill that would require the NYPD to provide statistics for crimes in all city parks larger than one acre.
The proposed legislation would raise the number of parks on which the NYPD must turn in figures to 870.
The 2013 April-to-June crime increase is the largest since the NYPD began disclosing the information in 2006 in compliance with a similar Vallone bill. Under that original law, the number of parks on which the NYPD reports quarterly crime statistics to the council was supposed to have increased gradually to have encompassed all 870 parks by now.
But, Vallone said, cops continue to ignore incident numbers in smaller green spaces, citing lack of resources and technology.
“They’re not violating the law technically, but they’re violating the spirit of it, because we’ve given them seven years to be able to give us this information,” said Vallone, chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, at a hearing unattended by any NYPD officials.
Representatives of the union representing Parks Enforcement Patrol officers say the new legislation, which would compile data for over 800 additional city parks, doesn’t go far enough.
“We need a true depiction of what’s happening out there,” said Joe Puleo, head of Local 983.
Puleo also wants the NYPD to maintain data on rec centers, pools, beaches and ice-skating rinks, as well as parks and playgrounds smaller than one acre.
“This is where the really violent stuff is happening,” Puleo said of small community playgrounds. “This is where the shootings, the stabbings, are happening.”
Parks Enforcement Patrol currently has only 160 officers assigned to the city’s more than 2,500 parks, playgrounds and facilities.