By Gregg McQueen
A series of violent attacks in Inwood Hill Park has prompted calls for additional security – as well as criticism that Northern Manhattan parks have not received adequate park safety resources.
On Wed., July 21, three women were physically assaulted in the span of about an hour while walking in Inwood Hill Park.
Three days later, police arrested a Bronx man in connection with the attacks.
During a press conference on July 22, City Councilmember Ydanis Rodríguez called for additional officers to patrol uptown parks, including 25 additional Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers to be assigned to Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon Park and Highbridge Park.
At nearly 200 acres in size, Inwood Hill Park is the second largest park in Manhattan – after Central Park.
However, Rodríguez remarked that certain communities have suffered “discrimination” when it comes to the allocation of resources.
“There are hundreds of PEP officers in Battery Park and Central Park,” Rodríguez said. “At certain [times], there are only six PEP officers used above 96th Street.”
“We know that the PEP officers are important because they send a message,” he added. “People can see them in their uniform. People know they are patrolling, keeping our parks safe.”
The green-uniformed PEP officers enforce park regulations and watch over public recreation areas, with the authority to write summonses and make arrests.
Read more: Peril in the Park | Manhattan Times