Over the last month or so, I’ve been approached by numerous parents who have been complaining about high school kids at our children’s playgrounds. A lot of them are complaining that these high schoolers have been “behaving belligerently” and have “no respect to our parks”. Many of them are “loud and obnoxious” and constantly using ”racist profanity” in front of children.
In fact, as a parent in Long Island City, I do see this often, especially at the children’s area in Murray Park. They’re often abusing the playground equipment and sometimes disrupting the play of young children.
According to an inside-source, LIC Spot has learned that the NYC Parks Department is completely understaffed in the area of policing and has zero personnel allocated for security in Long Island City parks. Our source also says that this has led to vandalism and theft, “It’s an ongoing problem and these kids have stolen the metal stools from the cafe area at Gantry Park (costing thousands of dollars each), the red adirondack chairs that used to be in the large lawn area, the blue light fixtures at the pier, a chess table, and even burned one of the wooden lounge chairs a few years back.”
LIC Spot recently reached out to both Senator Gianaris’ office as well as Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s to discuss this problem. We wanted to know, who could help parents on this front. Who do we call when we see this type of behavior? The response from both offices was quick and quite helpful.
Senator Gianaris said, “Excessive noise and abuse of property, public or private, are unacceptable in our community. It is important that any such incidents be dealt with quickly before they become an even bigger problem. I look forward to working with community leaders to develop appropriate responses to this type of behavior.”
Also, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has been working with the NYPD and City Parks regarding this issue. “I have been working with local community residents as well as the 108th Precinct to make sure that this problem is addressed in a swift manner,” said the Council Member. “My office will be working with both the Parks Department and the NYPD to ensure that Long Island City park spaces are preserved for visitors who cherish these wonderful spaces within our community. I will continue to pressure both of these agencies to protect our quality of life.” His office also recommended that we call 311 or 911 when anyone sees this sort of behavior.
Finally, there are plans to build a “Ranger Station” nearby where on-duty rangers will be there to help. Unfortunately, at this point, the library isn’t due to break ground until Fall 2013.
by mister LIC