Aug. 11, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Hunters Point Civic Association is hosting a meeting on park safety next Tuesday, to address residents’ fears following an alleged attack in Gantry Plaza State Park on August 1.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Lights Building at 4-74 48th Avenue in the 3rd floor activity room.
The meeting comes soon after a local woman reported interrupting a sexual assault in the tall grass in the park.
Captain John Travaglia, the commanding officer for the 108th precinct, will speak on recent incidents in Gantry Plaza State Park and in Hunters Point South Park; what the police are doing to combat any uptick in crime; and what resources are available, according to HPCA leader Brent O’Leary.
The manager of Hunters Point Park South Norman Chan will also speak, and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will be there to field questions.
O’Leary said that there will also be a discussion about city versus state responsibility at the waterfront parks with representatives from both the city and state being on hand.
Hunters Point Park South is run by the city, while Gantry Plaza State Park by the state.
O’Leary said that his organization wants the city and state to dedicate more resources to combat crime at these parks.
In particular, O’Leary said residents are worried that people are taking advantage of the low light and broad expanse at Gantry Plaza State Park to commit crimes.
The tall sea grass that obscures visibility is already being cut down, but O’Leary added that he also hopes to see more police foot patrols and more lighting.
“The park [Gantry Plaza] is amazing, arguably the best park in New York City, and is getting people from all over the city coming to enjoy it. We just have to make sure that the people who use it are safe,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary cited heightened concerns over safety following the murder of the jogger Karina Vetrano on a running path in Howard Beach.