New York City Parks to get Boost in Security
- By Sydny Shepard
- Jan 21, 2016
New York City has seen a lot of crime in the parks of the city that never sleeps, but the straw that reportedly broke the camel’s back seems to be a young woman was gang-raped by teenage boys on a playground.
The city’s park, just two weeks after the incident, are now poised to receive additional funding for security. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to increase the current funding for security by approximately 30 percent, allowing the city to hire 67 full-time Parks Enforcement Patrol staffers and another 50 seasonal part-timers as part of this preliminary budget proposal.
The new agents would largely be sent to a number of high-traffic parks and attractions, including the Coney Island boardwalk, Battery Park, Prospect Park and some Staten Island parks.
The Parks Enforcement Patrol staffers focus on enforcing park regulations, such as illegal vending, prohibited alcohol consumption and visitor harassment. Officials said the new agents’ presence will free up police officers to focus on the more serious offenses.
Crime in New York has continued to decrease along with city’s overall crime rate. There were 391 crimes, against people and property, across the park system last year, down from 432 the year before. Parks make up 14 percent of the city’s land but less than 1 percent of its total crime.
But a spotlight has been cast on the safety of the parks ever since an 18-year-old woman reported being raped on a Brooklyn playground Jan. 7.
Mayoral aides said the plan to increase funding for park security was already in place before the horrid event. Citizens and park workers alike are glad to hear that there will be more eyes to deter further crime.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.