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Residents voice need for more cops and resources in growing waterfront community; Van Bramer wants de Blasio to come to LIC for townhall meeting

Parkssafetymeeting

Aug. 18, 2016 By Christian Murray

Hunters Point residents were calling on the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct and a NYS Parks Police lieutenant to put more boots on the ground at the waterfront parks at a meeting Tuesday on park safety.

Residents claimed that the perceived lack of police in the parks has opened the door to crack dealers, pot smokers, drunks and miscreants. Furthermore, they claimed that Center Boulevard has become a “drag strip” that is endangering the lives of pedestrians and that the police are failing to monitor it.

The meeting, attended by more than 100 residents and hosted by the Hunters Point Civic Association and the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, was organized following reports by a resident that she had witnessed an attempted rape in Gantry Plaza State Park earlier this month and that the alleged perpetrator threatened her with a knife.

The witness’s account of the incident went viral on Facebook, prompting the NYPD and NYS Parks Police to launch an investigation.

The victim has yet to come forward and none of the area hospitals have reported that someone had claimed to be raped. Police have spoken to the witness, but claim it is tough to investigate a sex crime without the victim providing an account. Nevertheless the police continue to investigate the matter.

Capt. Travaglia

Deputy Inspector Travaglia

Deputy Inspector John Travaglia, commanding officer at the 108 Precinct, defended the precinct from claims that there were not enough police in the area.  He said they do monitor the parks as well as issue summons for those who speed along Center Boulevard.

He said that while police resources are stretched the officers are there.

“I can assure you that there are officers working there,” he said. “I see the reports and the summons being issued. The conditions unit of the 108 [Precinct] goes into the parks.”

Armed with statistics, Travaglia noted that crime is extremely low in the Hunters Point district and encouraged residents with issues to attend the 108 Precinct Community Council meetings in Sunnyside each month to keep the precinct informed of any problems.

But Travaglia’s views did not placate the attendees who questioned his claims about the police presence and the issuing of summons on Center Boulevard.

“As a mother and a woman, I was shocked about the [rape] incident,” one attendee said. “We understand you are stretched but we don’t see the police in the state park or city park and we think no one is policing the area…yet the precinct [house] is right there.”

Others claimed with the recent influx of new residents, largely the result of the 1,000 units that have opened at Hunters Point South, park safety is only going to get worse.

Much of the discussion dealt with the confusion over what law enforcement agency oversees each park.

With Gantry Plaza State Park being run by the state, the NYS Parks Police is primarily responsible for rooting out crime there.  The state police wear distinct uniforms than a different from NYPD officers.

But many residents claimed that they had never seen the NYS Parks Police officers before despite their conspicuous uniforms. They argued that this was further evidence that there is a lack of a police and called for more officers. Some said they had seen the state officers but that they were typically in their cars. They wanted the officers to get out of their vehicles and walk through the parks to provide a deterrent.

Lt. Jay Jones,  who represented the NYS Parks Police, said that he has officers at the park all the time. He said residents should notify him about any crimes that are taking place in the park. He provided attendees with a phone number to call: 212-694-3620

“I’m hearing reports of crack [for the first time],” he said. “I need to hear these things. I need to know.”

He said the reports get shipped to Albany and from there decisions are made as to how many officers should be deployed at the respective parks.

Residents were also advised to call Andrew Williams, the Gantry Plaza State Park manager, with concerns at 718-786-6386.

Nevertheless, residents who see crimes in progress should still call 911.

Meanwhile, the city parks manager who oversees Hunters Point Park South is Norman Chan. He said that if residents have issues pertaining to that park they should call him at 718-626-8622.

Some residents complained that the police precinct house is too old and is not set up in a way that is conducive for people to lodge complaints. They were also perplexed by how the 108 precinct had to park their vehicles all over the streets.

The precinct house, they said, should be moved, as they argued it was built at a time when Long Island City was an industrial area. One attendee claimed that the area has undergone a seismic change in recent years, yet the precinct house has not made the transition.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio and his commissioners to come to Hunters Point and hear residents’ concerns for himself.

“The mayor is doing town halls all over the city and has yet to do one here,” Van Bramer said. “We need more resources and the major needs to know the community is growing.”

Van Bramer said de Blasio needs to know about people’s concerns and their call for more resources. “He can’t just have proposals for new buildings.”

Attendees

Attendees

 

 

 

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30 Comments

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DL

Try shutting down the beer/wine license of the coffee concession at the ferry landing. Part of the problem is the cooperation between State/local political players and the beer hall that the ferry snack concession has become. Silent dances to midnight events announced by our councilman don’t help. As people leave the park–supposed to close at ten or so, noise, drunks, and bathroom lack become real. The concessionaire is connected to the Parks and City Councilman, but not in a good way.

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Trump

And ticket all the NY State vehicles parking illegally on the streets (and sidewalks) of Hunters Point.

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HC

see, this is a great example of crap city planning. Van Bramer gave the go-ahead for all kinds of residential construction without paying attention to city services. Services our tax dollars pay for. We have this massive influx of new residents and not enough schools, hospitals, fire houses and law enforcement to support them. The next problems are going to be impacted schools and trash collection, just watch… In 2003 alone, I think it was 7 firehouses were closed between Astoria, LIC and Greenpoint to make way for new developments? Mind you they were done under Bloomberg’s administration but when I was living there, I didn’t see too many council people in protest.

This is Jimmy Van Bramer, LIC, this is how he fights for you… good luck.

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Hit Em With the Hein

The issue with cars going 40 mph down Center Blvd and blowing through stop signs hasto be addressed. I can’t believe the 108 can’t station a squad car once a week or so to hand out tickets.

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LIC Mom

If resources are so tight they could put up speed cameras. That would help with the speeding problem and eliminate the need for cops sitting there.

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Traffic Cop

Or maybe people could just pay attention to the rules and signs? Just because there are no cops there enforcing regularly doesn’t mean you get to just do whatever you want. Just drive in a civilized manor.

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LIC Mom

Agreed, Traffic Cop. But people are not paying attention to the rules and signs so unfortunately enforcement is needed.

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MRLIC

The FAKE and I mean FAKE MRLIC wrote the August 18, 4:41 and August 19, 9:32 am posts. People are getting tired of your stupid posts saying you are me. GIVE UP ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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brooklynmc

And, what was the deal with the crazy cop car last night driving slowly down Center Blvd. repeating through the megaphone, “bike lane, bike lane, bike lane”. Strange.

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MRLIC

The FAKE JOKER MRLIC wrote the August 18 11:32 pm post. What do you expect all these kids to do when there are no bowling alleys to keep them busy? All real estate developers should be thrown in jail, but we don’t have enough cops here to do that so they are just allowed to build whatever they want.

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Time's Up

“Others claimed with the recent influx of new residents, largely the result of the 1,000 units that have opened at Hunters Point South, park safety is only going to get worse”

Oh and don’t forget the additional thousands of units that have yet to be built at Hunters Point South, which will only make matters exponentially worse. Amazing how they can just jam thousands of people into a micro-neighborhood and expect everything to take care of itself.

“Van Bramer said de Blasio needs to know about people’s concerns and their call for more resources. ‘He can’t just have proposals for new buildings.'”

Say what you want about JVB, but he’s spot-on here.

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brooklynmc

The restaurant Blend is a black eye on the neighborhood. For starters, the food is not very good. Second, it is as close to a club as a restaurant can get. Third, the people who go there don’t fit in to the neighborhood. Fourth, the valet parkers run on the sidewalks to get cars and then burn rubber driving back to the restaurant. Fifth, we need speed bumps on Center Blvd. Sixth, that ridiculously dangerous intersection between the public school, Rockaway Brewery and NY Kids Club that has NO STOP SIGN is going to get someone killed. Seventh, the police are part of the problem NEVER, EVER stopping at stop signs and not policing enough. I watched a car go through an intersection, barely slowing, and figured the cop behind him would turn on its lights but instead, went through the intersection as well without even slowing. Eighth, residents walk in front of cars on Center Blvd. at intersections expecting cars to stop to let them push their strollers across but many cars don’t stop. How come there are no signs asking cars to stop for pedestrians? I know this neighborhood sprouted up sort of fast but it is really showing how badly and slowly the city reacts to important situations and it really is beginning to show how unprofessional the NYPD has really become. If traffic police don’t stop at stop signs why should anyone?

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All growed up

If you don’t like the food at Blend, don’t go there, but you are nobody and you don’t get to decide who “fits in” you racist pompous piece of crap! This neighborhood didn’t “sprout up” fast. It’s always been here. I grew up here and so did my family and we’ve never felt unsafe. Nothing bad has ever happened to us. You people are having “public safety” meetings like this is the south side of Chicago. Grow up!

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Bill

In full disclosure I did not write the comment above however I do not construe it as racist. I can understand that you may have read it that way however racist is a heavy word to throw around. I have no problem with the race of anyone however I do take issue with the behavior of a select few of the Blend patrons. I also take exception to the valet drivers who drive recklessly through the neighborhood in the customers expensive sports cars which are quite silent at high speeds, endangering the people walking the streets. I wish the owners of these cars could see what the valet drivers do to cars. Also, I believe that you intended to say grown up instead of “growed.”

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brooklynmc

I am not racist and my statement was not racist. Funny that you see it that way. That restaurant is on a street of residential apartment buildings. Between the fast cars, loud music and the crowds of people that congregate in front, Blend is a bad neighbor. I live across the street. I bike and rollerblade and when I get home at night, it is very dangerous. Cars do not stop at the stop sign. It is also loud and crowded. All I am saying is this is a nice spot for a quiet restaurant with a view of Manhattan. It is a family neighborhood. I really don’t care who grew up here. My hometown is not what it was 30 years ago either. And, I don’t remember saying I felt unsafe. I also don’t attend public safety meetings. I am racist and a piece of crap huh? One thing I have noticed is that the angriest, meanest, craziest people I have met here are the old timers.

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Frank

I didn’t realize loud drunk person with no regard for pedestrian safety was now a race. How insightful.

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Anon

Can the fake MrLIC just give it up already? It’s gone on too long and it’s not funny. It never was. This is a serious topic and there’s no patience for your “joke”.

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRIC is at it again with his bowling alley jokes. His posts are getting tired. The FAKE MRLIC wrote the August 18, 2016 1:50 pm post.

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Migroschrott

“He said the reports get shipped to Albany and from there decisions are made as to how many officers should be deployed at the respective parks.”

lol, seriously? That’s the problem right there and root cause for some many others in NYC. The city needs to be in charge of its own matters, not Albany. They have absolutely no real-life inside on what’s going on here.

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MRLIC

The poster posting on August 18, 2016 1:50 pm is the fake MRLIC that stole my handle, I will not stop pointing out this joker. You see what happens what comrade DeBlasio lets all of these NEW people into the neighborhood to live in McLofts, crime goes up.

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Anonymous

i am glad that this opened a dialogue about increasing safety, but i would like to know if there is anything in the investigation to support the witness’s account. any flattened grass, physical evidence?? truly terrible thing if it happened but her story made no sense and the fixation with the grass is bizarre. how worried should we be?

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Kate

Instead of immediately invalidating this eye-witness account and traumatizing experience because it doesn’t fit your idea of what is acceptable or plausible, you try BELIEVING WOMEN? There are no perfect victims. There are, however, a lot of rape apologists who perpetuate this violence.

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Anonymous

I absolutely believe women and what in the world is a perfect victim??! I hope you are not suggesting that my question makes me a “rape apologist”. This is about logic not denying someone can be a victim.
This particular witness needs clarification. Read the account again and tell me how this is plausible. Either she is adding or withholding details. Is it because she was traumatized?…possibly but then is that consistent with her narrative? anything at all to support her account would be helpful.

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Silent majority

Hey JVB just tell De Blasio that the will be a BLM rally and I’m sure he will show up.

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Anonymous

I don’t believe Travaglia. If he has records of cops patrolling the waterfront and issuing tickets, prove it. Let us see evidence of the number of summonses being issued and records of how many cops are assigned patrol duty in the neighborhood. He can’t, because the 108th is a joke and always has been a joke.

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