Flushing, New York – CM Peter Koo today joined with the Parks Department and local civic leaders to announce three new full-time security guards who will begin patrolling Kissena Corridor Park and Kissena Park in Flushing. CM Koo funded the security guards following a series of criminal activity that occurred in the parks last month.
In July, police arrested a man for allegedly sexually assaulting two women in Kissena Corridor Park in Flushing. Later that month, police were also reportedly searching for bodies in neighboring Kissena Park. The full-time security guards will work directly with law enforcement to enforce park rules and keep the parks safe and secure for everyone.
According to NYPD’s Crime Statistics, Kissena Corridor Park experienced a 700% increase in crime during the second quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period last year. While crime statistics are known to fluctuate year over year, the extra security in these parks will add a needed permanent presence that will discourage criminal activity.
CM Koo stated, “Our parks and playgrounds are meant to be places of refuge where our community can come together and enjoy rare green spaces in an urban environment. While the NYPD and Parks Department enforce park rules, a full-time permanent security presence will act as a deterrent for criminal activity. Additionally, these security guards will be equipped with walkie-talkies with a direct link to law enforcement in case of an emergency. Safety and security in our parks is a top priority of my office, and we want to let our community know that our community parks are open for business.”
“Kissena Park is one of New York’s greatest cultural and recreational treasures. That’s why it’s so important that we make quality of life our priority – and Council Member Koo’s generous funding will allow us to do just that by adding three full-time Parks Security Service officers,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
Maureen Reagan, President of Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association/ Green Earth Urban Gardens stated, “We are appreciative of the proactive approach Councilman Koo is taking by giving law enforcement resources to provide safe places for recreation and the enjoyment of nature.”
CM Koo funded the security guards through the Parks Equity Initiative. Beginning in September, they will work five days a week until Park closing time. In addition to the new security guards in Kissena Park and Kissena Corridor Park, CM Koo has allocated $14.5 million in funding to upgrade seven parks and playgrounds throughout Council District 20, Bland Playground, Bland Houses basketball courts, Maple Playground, Saul Weprin Playground, JHS 189, PS 120, and Murray Hill Playground, and Queens Botanical Gardens.
Source: Council Member Peter Koo’s Office.