West Side Rag » Concerned parents as teenagers with knives seen at Bloomingdale’s Playground near PS 145
Posted on April 28, 2022 at 6:03 a.m. by West Side Rag
By Daniel Katzive
Participants at the Community Board (CB) 7 Public Safety Task Force monthly meeting reported growing concerns about teens engaging in rowdy behavior and displaying knives after school hours at the playground. Bloomingdale’s newly remodeled set at 104th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, next to PS 145, a primary school.
Naveed Hasan, a PS 145 parent and member of the District 3 Community Education Council (CEC3), told Wednesday’s meeting that the situation has worsened in recent weeks. According to Hasan, a patrol car from the 24th Precinct was parked near the park after the school was fired in response to the concerns, but that mainly caused the issue to shift to a bit later, after the car left. Police responded quickly and forcefully, he said, when relatives called 911 in response to the sighting of weapons, but the problem reoccurred in the following days.
Police Service Area 6 (PSA6) Community Affairs Officer Detective David Collado, who patrols the Douglass homes across from the playground, attended the meeting and said he would alert co-ordinating officers from the neighborhood and coordinating youth at this NYCHA development to try to help solve the problem.
Committee members agreed that a more comprehensive solution was needed, possibly including coordination with school and park officials while improving access to after-school programs for teens drawn into hazardous activities.
A labor shortage
PSA6 is responsible for policing the 21 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments in the 24th, 26th, and 32nd Wards, an area stretching from 87th Street to 155th Street and Broadway to Lenox Ave.
Manpower is a constant challenge for the PSA given its large geographic area of responsibility, Detective Collado noted. While PSA6 received 10 new officers from the latest recruitment promotion, that was more than offset by retirements or departures for other departments, according to Collado.
He provided the task force with an update on the steps the PSA is undertaking to improve “connectivity” with the community served by the compound, including the formation of community councils of compound commanders and “Pop up with a cop,” targeted outreach efforts in areas in the community where connectivity with the police is lacking.
On a more positive note, task force members welcomed the news that a suspect had been arrested in the series of armed robberies affecting fruit stalls and other small businesses in the 20th arrondissement. As WSR reported, “Ryan Little, 37, of Manhattan, will face federal robbery and weapons charges related to the incidents.”
The next meeting of the working group will take place on Wednesday May 25 at 6:30 p.m.