You are reading

LIC Residents to Hire Private Security Guards to Combat Crime on the Hunters Point Waterfront

Obi Onyeador (Unsplash)

Aug. 21, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Enough is enough, according to a number of Long Island City residents.

A group of residents are so fed up with the high levels of anti-social behavior along the Hunters Point waterfront that they are hiring a private security firm to patrol the area.

The group says that crowds of young men and women have been descending on Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park all summer and taking part in drug and booze-fueled rave parties that last throughout the night.

Meanwhile, other delinquents, they say, race quad bikes and motorcycles inside the parks, through the streets and along sidewalks.

Last week a group of around 45 residents came together and made the decision to hire a security firm to tackle the problem. The group wants the security officers to deter crowds from congregating.

The security officers will patrol the walkway outside both parks in September and October, according to resident and organizer Yolanda Tristancho. The group hopes that their presence will be enough to stop rabble-rousers from coming to the parks when they close at 10 p.m.

 

“Things have gotten so bad that people have moved out of the area,” Tristancho said. “We feel we have no other action but to take this into our own hands.”

Tristancho said that the quality of life for residents living in the neighborhood has deteriorated and the area has become dangerous.

“Before you could go for a nice walk along the waterfront in the late evening but it’s just not safe anymore,” she said.

She said that the local police precinct doesn’t have the resources to constantly patrol the area.

Tristancho said that her group is hiring two security officers who will work from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

They will be unarmed and will carry flashlights. They have no real authority– other than to call the police if things get out of hand.

The cost for the security will be around $1,500 per week and the group is asking residents to pitch in via a Go Fund Me page which was set up Wednesday. The page has raised over $1,100 so far.

The group has also approached the big real estate companies that own adjacent buildings to see if they would contribute.

Empty alcohol bottles and plastic cups left over from a party (Photo provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Mark Christie, a 23-year resident and the vice president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said the current situation is unacceptable and residents have been let down by the police and local politicians.

“We have been calling the police for four months about this carry-on and they only started coming down in the last few weeks,” Christie said. “We haven’t seen any politicians.”

Christie said that organized rave parties have been taking place on the streets at the southern end of Hunters Point South and people have been consuming alcohol and taking drugs.

“There were hundreds of people there last Friday night and it was the loudest music you ever heard,” Christie said.

He said that the streets and parks are left covered with empty alcohol bottles, plastic cups, and food waste. He said that illegal fireworks – which plagued residents earlier this summer– have been going off again in the area.

Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

Christie, who attended last week’s meeting, thinks the security personnel will help the situation and hopes they will co-ordinate with the police.

He said that restaurants — which are already struggling with COVID-19 restrictions – are also being impacted by the turmoil and need help.

The trash and unruly behavior is putting customers off going to nearby restaurants at night time, he said.

“How can you have outdoor dining with all this going on in our streets?” he said. “Parents are afraid to come with their kids and seniors are being scared off too.”

The HPPC volunteer said there has also been an increase in the number of homeless people flocking to the area and parts of the boardwalk have also been vandalized with graffiti.

“It’s just one thing after another,” Christie said.

“Something has to be done.”

Graffiti along the LIC waterfront. (Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

email the author: [email protected]

74 Comments

Click for Comments 
Stone Cold Steve Austin

I swear something is absolutely wrong with these people over here. Nobody says nothing about the dog shit and piss smell everywhere but you’re mad about people in the park. If you care so much help the parks dept clean the damn thing up. Police ain’t doing nothing because ain’t shit going on worth there time. They’re hanging out by blend on the water relaxing by the water right along with everybody else. Either help clean or shut up.

10
Reply
Anonymous

Keep your slave patrol out of my community, please. People are stir crazy – we’ve all been cooped up for 6 months and outdoor spaces are all we have, and the only places to congregate. I don’t know what you’re all talking about, but I live here too and have never had a single issue. We live in NYC and you’re complaining about people playing music after 10PM??? Give me a break!

14
Reply
Paul

*sigh* let’s try this one more time. When employers HINDERS production, there will be no productivity. Capitalism 101. In another word, bashing cops doesn’t improve policing, it increases crime. Common sense 101

6
2
Reply
Move!

What do you expect? New York is a trashhole and will keep getting worse. Move to Connecticut or another state where you own your OWN PRIVATE land that people can’t traspass and have parties on. Otherwise deal with the disadvantages of city life.

4
10
Reply
Bruce

I have lived in this community for over 20 years and I have seen this decline in the conditions of the park. Where are the state police? Hiring a private security firm is not the answer. I feel the presence of guards who have no jurisdiction will only endanger these guards and
intensify the situation. So whats the solution? A petition to our local politicians, massive turn out at a community meeting or protests. Constantly getting the media to
cover this issue. In these times big mouths get more done than involving a third party to get things accomplished.

8
1
Reply
Merman

I am pro police, but the 108th has been garbage and useless for years. I’ve been in LIC over 10 years and have called 911 for a variety of reasons (someone being assaulted 3 blocks up the road from the 108, drag racing on Center Blvd and HUGE groups of maskless people outside Blend on the Water at the height of COVID) and not once has the 108 responded to any of these calls. The assault I witnessed went on for over 10 minutes and I waited another 10 minutes after and no cops ever came. The 108 is a hugely staffed precinct. Go into E&I deli around lunch if you doubt that…or just look at them all shooting on the prescient steps as mom’s with strollers are forced to go into the street because they block the sidewalks. The captain of the precinct needs to feel ashamed of himself and badly needs to be replaced if us in LIC want any resolution the the lawless chaos that is going on in our neighborhood daily.

19
2
Reply
Anonymous

You captured my feelings exactly. Lots of people on this thread are dismissing those of us supposed radical leftist monsters who complain about our local policing by blaming the defund the police movement. “What do you expect?” they say, enjoying some perverted thrill of owing us while they themselves have to endure the same problems we all do. What rubbish. Who in LIC, left or right, doesn’t want effective policing in the neighborhood but have been starved of it for many years, decades even, long before George Floyd was even born?

Instead, we have dealt with rude, sullen, indifferent, negligent, and disrespectful policing by the 108th. Just talk to your friends who have tried dealing with them. They make DMV clerks seem like employees of the month. Over the years, captains have come and gone, and half-assed efforts by our publicity-seeking local politicians to build community relations with the cops inevitably go nowhere. Meanwhile, the cop cars still clog the sidewalks, the 108th’s middle-finger to the neighborhood.

And now they need marches to soothe their hurt feelings? I said on another post that if the cops of the 108th were always there for us, and interacted with us with patience, respect and professionalism, they wouldn’t need fake marches in Sunnyside. And if they truly dealt with the lunacy going on at the waterfront, we’d be showering them in rose petals every day. Enough with the passive aggressive BS, cops. Do the jobs we in LIC pay you to do!

11
4
Reply
AEB

What a delusional, self serving and continuous line of BS. It’s bail reforms (elimination) a pervasive soft on crime directive from City Hall and insane city council arrest legislation, just to name a few, that have completely neutered police. You and your “progressive” ilk harassing and provoking police at every turn, video camera in their faces, so yes, what do you expect? FTP until you need them I suppose. This is what you wanted, and now you have it and now we all have to deal with the ramifications.

3
6
Reply
Anonymous

Come on, what does bail reform have to do with treating people who call the precinct with respect and urgency? What is preventing the cops from getting in their patrol cars a block away and breaking up the lawbreaking crowds on the river? Am I missing something?

You are simply making excuses to justify the insolent and entitled attitude of cops we have all become accustomed to. I don’t care what people’s political persuasion is. We’re all unified in expecting that the professionals we entrust to keep the neighborhood safe and peaceful are devoted to that mission and not just playing the victim. So pathetic.

6
2
Reply
ASensibleMan

Well the police are busy checking cars coming in from 35 different states so they can spray them with Magic Unicorn Dust or something. Totally useless activity imposed by idiots.

And then we’ve got to worry about the REAL problem: systemic racism! That’s the ticket. Crime? What’s crime?

I’m sorry, but if you voted for DeBlasio or Cuomo you’re getting EXACTLY what you voted for. Couldn’t see it coming? I could. What’s wrong with you?

13
7
Reply
LICGreg

I get your point, but I am a glass tower guy and fully support the police. He11, if they went out there with batons , I would be grateful.

17
7
Reply
Disheartened

Just to point out, over the last few weeks the amount of graffiti anywhere and everywhere has skyrocketed. Broken liquor bottles and empty beer cans all over. Trash and graffiti is bad of course but I think I can tolerate that to a point. Now people are openly smoking illegal substances (not weed), and I have unfortunately come across snapple bottles full of urine, used condoms, syringes, women’s underwear, spent fireworks AND huge rats. Long Island City was a beautiful hidden gem not too long ago. Then somehow people who think it is “cool” to destroy property and commit crimes have come upon the neighborhood. I doubt they live here, but they are certainly having an effect. I by no means am one to be nervous or scared as a general matter, but I seriously question my safety when I go out after dark nowadays. These thugs carry weapons. Police respond to gunshots only AFTER shots are fired. And I ask myself, what is the point of living here? Droves of people have already left – now they seem like the smart ones. I feel so exhausted by all of the politicians who seem to be focused on getting votes instead of helping to make the communities which they represent better for middle class families. I don’t get it. I have a 15 month old daughter and we used to love walking along the waterfront – that was one of our favorite activities together. Now, we sit at home. And I think it is going to be that way until we move out of here to the suburbs. I feel like it is only a matter of time before the real bad actors get bolder and start robbing, raping and murdering in our once peaceful neighborhood. I don’t know how we as individuals can get the police to do anything that they refuse to do for political reasons. I am very much against expressing political views but I will do so here – both our president and his challenger have some major issues but when it comes down to the police, it seems like they strongly favor our current president. I can’t imagine what kind of hell our home for the last few years will turn into come next year when Biden becomes president. I hope I am wrong, but for those of you who are parents, this may be the right time to leave this place for good.

24
7
Reply
Anonymous

Hunters point park has become a dump. Trash littered all over the street. Garbage bags dumped all over the sidewalk. LIC needs to Form it’s own Guardian Angels. Vote Curtis

24
1
Reply
Michelle

It’s a state park and everyone has a right to use said parkYour security will have no authority and will lead to bigger problems. Welcome to the real world, communities across the city all suffer with what your experiencing on some level. Unfortunately, money doesn’t exclude you!

4
28
Reply
SC

The park is closed after 8:00. You don’t have a right to use it then or to not follow the posted rules in the park, which apply to everyone.

Reply
Skip Seglipse

The 108 PCT is literally down the block. But we’re supposed to think that cops are out there doing a job.

20
1
Reply
Anonymous

Defund the police=fund a private security company. The problems don’t go away folks. Mutts are mutts

8
2
Reply
Dan

It only solves part of the problem, but installing some speed bumps would probably be a pretty cost effective way to put an end to a lot of the street racing etc…

16
1
Reply
22yrresident

So let’s be clear – the Hunter’s Point waterfront parks in LIC are entirely SAFE and crime free all day, and up until at least 10 pm at night. I know because I have walked my dog in the park at 10 pm for many years and on many nights this summer – right along side families with children. Yes, there is a rise in bad behavior this summer, but it starts well after 10 pm and into the morning hours, once the park is mostly vacant. I can sometimes see these folks from my apartment windows. I too am concerned that the otherwise very responsive officers of the 108th precinct are not doing enough to address this issue this summer, and I think it is a great idea to have private security patrol the park and collect video tape evidence of those who are partying and racing motorcycles. But it is wildly inaccurate and irresponsible to say that “the neighborhood has deteriorated and the area has become dangerous” and that “parents are afraid to come with their kids”. Those are gross exaggerations. This area is SAFE, but like any park in the city, don’t go there late night after it closes. I wish the article had made that more clear instead of disparaging our amazing neighborhood.

14
15
Reply
Anonymous

I walk around the park a lot and I see all sorts of inappropriate behaviors at all hours day or night. Flagrant drug and alcohol use is so rampant it’s amazing you haven’t noticed. It’s not just after 10pm it’s all day including early afternoon. I’ve had to personally relocate while reading in the park multiple times to escape the marijuana smokers who puff away with impunity. The article isn’t disparaging… it’s accurate.

19
4
Reply
Hector

If you vote for a communist, don’t be surprised when you end up living in a banana republic.

17
5
Reply
Anonymous

Yes, we all love thoughtless comments of dubious value that use archaic language to make a point that few can understand. Well done.

Reply
Thank god I retired

So…. the guy drinking the 40 ounce and lighting off fireworks tells the security to buzz off they’ll have to call the police who are still dealing with man power shortages. Aren’t you Long Island Citiots glad you voted for the Democrats?

14
7
Reply
Anonymous

You can play your little political blame game because you have nothing of real merit to say, but this has little to do with them. It’s a national crisis because the police have been operating on the same principles for decades, they haven’t changed with the times. They have all the fancy new toys (huh, how do they have all these new military toys if democrats are so anti cop?), but they don’t have the proper training to keep them from losing their cool when some wacko threatens them. Get it together my friend, it’s not dnc vs rnc, it’s right versus wrong.

3
2
Reply
Wild Weasel

This is just the start of what is to come EVERYONE has forgotten 1975 thru 1991 here we go again

15
Reply
MRLIC

I have been telling people on this site for years what will happen if you keep voting Democratic Socialist Communist in Like DeBlasio and Cuomo and now AOC. All losers. You get what you vote for. You did not listen. You just criticized me. Now you have a lawless full of homelessness and crime ridden city. Good luckm

4
2
Reply
Sabi G

Lmaooo, you can tell these people are transplants if they think hiring unarmed security guards is going to deter the homeless & ppl vandalizing the neighborhood. If these ppl are not afraid to physically assault cops, what do you think is going to happen with these guys? This isn’t the suburbs.

At the end of the day, you get what you vote for. This is a district that makes up a huge part of AOC’s most rabid following, a following that demanded a lower police presence, bail reform & decriminalization of quality-of-life crimes in order to “protect” minorities 🙄. These are the same people who also refused to go out & vote against De Blasio in the last 2 mayoral elections bc no other Dems were running against him & they refuse to vote against party lines even for moderate Republicans like Lhota. Thanks guys, us minorities, especially those of us living in low-income neighborhoods, thank you sooo much for the increased gang activity, homeless neighborhood camps, knife & gunpoint assaults, burglaries & sexual assaults & we also thank you for enabling an administration that has been caught using our tax dollars to illegally house convicted pedophiles in hotels near playgrounds & schools. Again, thank you sooo much for voting these things in, then moving back to the West Coast or the Midwest leaving is to deal with the fallout from your White Savior complex.

Sincerely,
A native New Yorker from Queens, lifelong Dem & minority female who is tired of this s**t

25
3
Reply
Person of Color

100% accurate statement there. All of these transplants keep voting in “progressive” democrats that are ruining the QOL of this city thinking it will help minorities. They don’t care when things go down the tubes because they will just go back home to their parents house in a fly over state.

11
1
Reply
Concerned Mother of Toddlers

This is absolutely disgraceful. What used to be a nice area for young families is turning into a haven for junkies, hoodlums and criminals. It is only a matter of time before gun violence will become commonplace in this once peaceful neighborhood. How does the Mayor or anyone else in NYC office think this is ok? Is this the future our kids are going to be forced into by the incompetence of our leaders? Crime is crime. Laws need to be enforced. The situation is disgusting. The police need to step it up. People don’t feel safe anymore. Mothers are now forced to carry pepper spray and knives when going to get groceries for their kids. Shame on all of the NYC politicians. Please Rockrose, TF Cornerstone, Avalon and other big companies do something to keep the neighborhood safe. Can we get armed guards???

16
3
Reply
22yrresident

“Mothers are now forced to carry pepper spray and knives when going to get groceries for their kids.”
REALLY?? C’mon.

9
8
Reply
Citizen

Has there actually been loss of funds to NYPD, or are they just sulking & refusing to do their jobs because no one’s clapping for tinker bell?

12
3
Reply
Anonymous

no changes to their budget whatsoever. How could there be, it’s been 3 months, when’s the last time lawmakers did anything that fast?

Reply
ray

You elected democrats. Always be careful what you wish for. Check Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Minapolis etc.

18
2
Reply
AngryMan

Dangerous really , wow you guys live in this fake bubble fairy tale . This is safest area around Lic . Let the young kids live . Ok there’s trash . Maybe we can place more trash bags. As far As restaurants do you not see all the food trucks that are lined up on centre Blvd. 2 years ago it was only like 3 truck. So business is booming. This is only happen because it’s summer and it’s a pandemic. Guess what it’s happening all over NYC not just in this area. People are flocking to the piers to hang out and relax. No one is being robbed or beaten up. We should be complaining about all the dog shit and piss on the floor from the dogs. Rarely you see people curbing their pets. Piss and shit everywhere.

12
15
Reply
Merman

Actually, earlier this summer I saw a high school aged boy being kicked by other kids his age. When I called the police they said the could not do anything because Gantry is a State Park. You stand corrected…people are at least being beaten up.

4
1
Reply
MRLIC

Keep voting Democrats in like DeBlasio and Cuomo and all of the City Council and albany Politicians
Keep Defunding Police. You voted for this and votes for Republicans least can hope for change. Democrats are Soft on crime and their insane bail reform that puts criminals back on the street . Just crazy. Homeless shelters turning up all over NYC. Hotels turning into homeless shelters. Taxpayers are paying a fortune for all these shelters. NYC and state were going broke before the pandemic and ate worse now. Time for a Change NYC.

15
3
Reply
Harry Potter

A couple of flashlight wielding rent-a-cops aren’t going to be effective against rabble-rousing group of delinquents. You need to bring in people capable of breaking skulls. And for god’s sakes, there is a police station only a few blocks away, too.

8
2
Reply
Paul

Welcome the progressive party. Cops will be protested against and defunded to do their jobs. Homeless will run amuck because we must “let them be”. Crime will run rampage. Ironic, since most of the LIC families are progressive and should actually be happy about all this. Maybe they should ask Amazon to pitch in, oh nevermind I forgot. lol

66
18
Reply
Anonymous

Excuse me, but they haven’t been defunded yet, they have the resources to park a damn car at the park. Their inaction is a deliberate message that they won’t do their job if they’re held accountable for their actions. Maybe I don’t understand capitalism, but where I’m from, if you don’t do your job, you get fired. Their job is NOT optional. To serve and protect, end of sentence. They have no defense in any of this. I believe policing is an impossible job, and they definitely should be paid more, but it is a job they signed up for, and it’s on them to make sure they train properly. And PS, defunding does not mean getting rid of police, it means making sure enough money is going to the very community programs that make policing easier. After school programs, food programs, all of the things the upper middle class neighborhoods that I come from take for granted.

Defunding is actually good for police if you take the time to understand the meaning, they can’t do everything, it’s about the community. They need real training and we need real programs that keep this kids heading in the right direction.

13
10
Reply
Paul

Well let me help you understand capitalism a little bit further. When your consistently told how horrible you are, what scum you are, what pigs you are, and that all your bad deeds will be captured on news and social media, while your good deeds are forgotten, just exactly how much motivation do you have? If one bad apple cop was enough to get the public to turn against the entire law enforcement in the USA what do you think would happen when cops try to interfere in what can be considered “kids being kids”. People like you would have a storm.

9
5
Reply
Ella McJayne

Are you saying that cops aren’t doing their jobs because their damn feelings are hurt over being called “pigs”? Well those babies shouldn’t be cops.

7
2
Reply
Anonymous

yeah… nothing you just said has anything to do with capitalism. Also, before I go back to ignoring comments, I’m going to point out that the majority of my comments were positive statements about maintaining a balance between community and policing. They weren’t anti-police because yes, we do need them.

We CAN do better than this, and honestly, the “good” police are just as liable as the “bad” police. They have a responsibility to police themselves, if they want to be respected, if they want to be considered brave, that starts in their own precinct.

Reply
108th pct is around the corner

There’s plenty of NYPD around here and it’s still a problem. Oops, completely wrog!

1
1
Reply
A free society

Private policing is the answer because they’re paid to keep crime down. State police is paid when crime goes up. Once you get private policing you’ll then see NYPD start doing something because private police is NYPDs competition. They’ll get off their phones and maybe fill out paperwork. Detroit and San Francisco have neighborhoods with private police.

Reply
Anonymous

Guys – this is insane.
the groups that are congregating are without a doubt breaking the law and creating chaos…. BUT … is there not a police precinct 1/4 mile away?
why in the hell does a private company need to be hired? to walk around and ultimately call the cops?
have residents not already called the cops because of this stuff happening?
have the police shown up and done anything?

53
9
Reply
JaimeB

It’s right there in the article. Residents are calling the police, over and over, and the police aren’t doing anything. The lack of response to this chaos is really embarrassing for NYC and also dangerous — very often, out-of-control drunken and drug-laden block parties like this end in violence.

Reply
PH

No. That’s why they’re doing this. The excuse is that Gantry Park is a state park and not under their jurisdiction

Reply
Thank god I retired

The 108 precinct has to prioritize 911 calls over 311 calls. Yes, 311 took some of the non emergency jobs out of the 911 systems but you still have both types of calls funneling back to the same under staffed command

Reply
Granne

Have you walked by that police precinct, the 108th, less than 1/4 mile away in the past few months? They’ve barricaded themselves in with their own steel police barricades only allowing vehicles of the residents or businesses on the block of the precinct, 50th Ave between 5th st and Vernon Blvd To come through.
When I walked past back in April, two officers standing on the steps of the precinct gave me, a senior woman and grandmother, attitude when I asked them very respectfully to please investigate Hunter’s Point South Park at the southern end due to the huge gatherings of young people in cars, on top of the cars, sprawled all over with drugs, booze, partying, non wearing of masks as early as 8pm. Their answer to me “ma’m call 311” then they turned to each other like I didn’t exist. Definitely NOT NY’s Finest. Nice, right?
I haven’t been able to take my daily evening walks since. Even early morning Walks are ruined with the garbage, broken liquor bottles, rotting food, vomit and graffiti. Brings back memories of the NY of the 1970s. Not a place we want to revisit. Ever.

14
Reply
Caucasian Rascal

The police are not showing up because the people that live in those glass towers hate the police in the name of “progress.” Go ahead,defund the police totally. You reap what you sow.

7
4
Reply
Granne

I have a comment I hope is posted about the 108th callousness and uncaring well before any talk of refunding the police.
It was n the weeks after shutdown and I politely asked for their help, describing in great detail the shenanigans going on in the HPS Park by troublemakers at dusk. They simply didn’t care.
So as far as defunding, I don’t claim to have an answer. Accountability to their communities. Hell yeah!! Otherwise, for those of you old enough to know what this means we have “Serpico” in NYC over again.

Reply
Anonymous

That’s NYC. What do you expect….only going to get worse. Why would anyone want to live there. Crazy.

25
10
Reply
Island Girl

Exactly. I moved here in 2015 thinking ‘what a great opportunity and how lucky’ to have gotten a studio apartment in one of the much touted Related affordable income based properties.
No more.
Related Management, you’d best be trying to figure this out. In a real hurry!

Reply
JaimeB

The waterfront has been deteriorating for months and the police and politicians have done next to nothing about it, despite story after story and complaint after complaint, forcing local residents to fend for themselves. Now residents are fleeing, as predicted. Take a bow, Jimmy van Bramer. You’ve earned it.

56
3
Reply
Jason

People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to live there. Why not just go live someplace cheaper with people that are more polite? New York has been getting worse and worse for people every year. Illegal fireworks, fighting, lowest marriage rates (or second) in the country. Quality of life has been flipped on its head.

2
1
Reply
do our new district leaders have an opinion?

Emilia Decaudin and Jesse Laymon… what say you? How does replacing NYPD with private security strike you? seems like you need to address this behavior.

33
2
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News