[Photo Tuesday by @urbanmyths]
The patrol tower that the NYPD installed in the middle of Tompkins Square Park on Tuesday has prompted plenty of discussion. (Our post has 135 comments and counting.)
Yesterday, East Village resident Penny Rand, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1968, launched an online petition asking Mayor de Blasio to remove the tower.
Per the petition:
There is no crime happening in the park that cannot be handled by foot police or officers in patrol cars. The precinct is just around the corner, patrol cars find their way into the park on a moment's notice.
Take down the tower. We don't want it. It makes us feel violated, insulted and angry that you chose this path under the guise of protecting us.
Take down the tower. We don't need it. It is overkill and just a display of muscle that infringes on our enjoyment of the park.
Take down the tower, Mr. Mayor. Take it down. Today.
The goal is 1,000 signatures by end of the month. Find the petition here.
Meanwhile, Gothamist talked to people in the Park yesterday about the tower.
"It's stupid, it's a waste of money," Annick de Lorme told us as she walked her dog past the tower last night. "It doesn't make sense to have two police officers sit around."
De Lorme said that she has lived next to the park on East 7th Street for 13 years, and felt that Tompkins is "one hundred percent" safer than it was when she first moved to the neighborhood.
Gothamist also gets an explanation from the city.
Mayor de Blasio's press secretary, Karen Hinton, told us that the Tompkins Skywatch "is a temporary 'high visibility' police command post to address safety issues on a temporary basis," and that "how long it stays is up to the Boro Commander."
Hinton said that the "NYPD tried to park the Skywatch in the street area, away from the park, but that was problematic. The park was the next best solution."
Previously on EV Grieve:
NYPD installs patrol tower in the middle of Tompkins Square Park (135 comments)
The Post reports Tompkins Square Park 'has become a homeless haven' (113 comments)
Observer editors write, 'it's time to take back Tompkins Square Park' (49 comments)
Parts of Avenue C and D now with a SkyWatch tower, additional NYPD lights
[Updated] NYPD patrol tower arrives on Avenue D