Thursday, November 17, 2022

[Updated] This morning's community meeting in Tompkins Square Park

Reps from the 9th Precinct and Parks Department met with East Village residents this morning in Tompkins Square Park to discuss ongoing issues with the park, including drug use and sales. 

Given the time (10 a.m.), not many people could attend (including me). The 9th Precinct's commanding officer, deputy Ralph A. Clement, was a featured speaker.

One resident had this to say about the meeting: "It turned into a total shit show. Lots of yelling. Biggest argument was closing the park versus foot patrol." 

Another resident said that it was not at all productive.


Per CBS New York: "Residents want NYPD, the Department of Transportation and Parks Department to work together more effectively to enforce curfew, make arrests and keep the park clean and safe."

Here's the coverage from CBS New York...


Fox 5 has a report here. Updated Dec. 3: The Village Sun has a recap here.

Thanks to Steven for the photo and video clip


Anonymous said...

Washington Square Park is so nice this season. Tons of people, lots happening at same time, good vibe. Police present, but not in a threatening way. So much nicer there.

Chris Flash said...

TYPICAL mainstream media spin. NO ONE requested more arrests.NO ONE talked about litter or cleanliness. There was simply MAJOR disagreement over enforcing the park curfew, getting rid of the homeless in the park and leaving the park open 24hrs a day.

There was mention of foot patrols vs the occasional NYPD drive by, but, as one ninth precinct cop told me confidentially at the meeting: "cops are leaving in droves." He told me that there were only 500 new applicants this past year, compared with thousands applying each year, and that they are extremely LOW on manpower. (Good move telling cops to get "covid" shots or lose their jobs, mayor Adams - the smart ones simply QUIT!)

While ninth precinct community affairs cops meant well, this "meeting" with the public simply gave some the opportunity to present the same complaints that divided the neighborhood against itself in the 80s and 90s, paving the way for gentrification. What they seem to be advocating now is a POLICE STATE in our park!

Like I say, there are NO easy answers, but blaming the homeless for the city's failures and then attempting to remove them from our park, as well as closing areas of the park to all of us simply because some people left needles there, as well as closing the park at night, is NOT the way to properly solve the problems in the park or to serve our community.

Chris Flash

joe citizen said...

I just saw the CBS clip. How can the LES "Ecology Center" claim that raking leaves, which are Mother Nature's natural (and free) form of mulch to protect plants over the winter months, is "cleaning up" in the park? I saw no garbage or litter in their piles of leaves.

Instead of spreading those leaves in planted areas, they gather them in plastic bags to be thrown away in the trash, then high-five each other, as though they have performed a public service. WTF????

Why not use their volunteers to clean the bathrooms or plug up rat holes or assist in the removal of garbage in the park? That would be more valid than removing leaves.

Anonymous said...

Hi joe citizen, please don’t disrespect LESEC’s good work: the leaves in clear bags aren’t discarded, they’re composted or mulched or whatever.
There’s nothing like wading through a bunch of freshly-fallen leaves without a care. Sadly not an option here, no judgements.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been in Tompkins for any reason other than to use the restroom.

Anonymous said...

There are no homeless in the park. These are anti social, drug addicts, and mentally ill people. Their place is not on the streets and in the park of major cities.
The bathroom floor is full with needles at all times.
Droves of stolen Citi Bike are parked everywhere.
Time for a major clean up. No man power to do that? Let us, concern citizens, fix it for you.

Anonymous said...

Well done mr flash, you know what tsp needs and seem to have a great on-site way to address the goings on

Bowery Babe said...

Chris Flash - "some people left needles there'???? The park is full of used needles which are a huge hazard especially to children and dogs. I was at the meeting and the focus of the meeting was on drug addicts and drug dealers and yes a curfew. Hardly anyone complained about the homeless although it is a major problem.
Quite frankly I don't know who in their right mind would walk through the park after midnight unless they have pepper spray.

Anonymous said...

Fallen leaves should not be raked. They should be left where they fall. They are a part of the natural ecosystem.

Anonymous said...

If cops are targeting drug dealers, all they have to do is WALK through the park any morning before 8am. They are there in full view. None of this is happening under cover of darkness. No one is hiding because there's no enforcement.

As an aside, Fox News is terrible an no one should be watching it. It's nothing but scare-mongering propaganda. Raking leaves is not what we're complaining about (thank you, though, to LES Ecology Center).

Anonymous said...

"Fallen leaves should not be raked. They should be left where they fall. They are a part of the natural ecosystem."

You do know this is an urban park, not the actual woods right?

Anonymous said...

They should have held the meeting at the parks Chess table area where even in the morning the junkies are regularly shooting up heroin and then passing out unconscious on the ground. That would have really given CBS news something to show its viewers about the problems within the park.

JK said...

I only wish that the people who are served lunch in the park would have enough self respect to clean up their mess and leave it in the trash.

Anonymous said...

the park not only needs to completely clear out the junkies but also to invest in the ecology of the park. clean the grounds, plant trees, maintain the greenery. and no, it's not "cool" for parks employees to have to pick up needles that could infect them.

the park is for ALL citizens, not just the addicted/aggressive/mentally ill. there needs to be a balance between keeping the park safe, maintaining the nature there, and providing outreach services.

as a longtime ev resident I can also confirm that the people who wait on the food service lines and use the community fridge are NOT junkies, because junkies don't give a damn about food. get real with your commentary and don't lump everyone together

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I have legs. Easy to walk to almost any park in this city. And ANY park in this city is better than the shit hole that is TSP.

Anonymous said...

Save the leaves!?!? I really need to stop reading these comments.

Anonymous said...

From what I've observed as of recently, the homeless folks that used to congregate in the park have been pushed out to other places, or have left due to the recent and unprecedented bouts of violence that have become the regular.
I've spent over 25 years passing through daily, and a handful of those having existed alongside the long time campers, and can say that I have never seen anything close to the state the park has devolved into this past year... And everyone, from the street folks and addicts, to the dog run regulars and neighborhood folk, are suffering as a result.
A woman interviewed on the CBS video hit the nail square on its head: opportunistic outer borough folks are pushing their wares, and are bringing much of the conflict with them as a result.
I only wish I had a viable solution for us all, will let you know when I finally do.

Anonymous said...

here are the options as i see them:

1) arrest people who are shooting up in the park
2) create centers for people to safely shoot up and if anyone is doing it in the park, they get moved there (with rehab services available)

drugs exist and will forever, that's not changing. if we don't want needles or passed out people in the park, we can either arrest them or let them do it in peace somewhere safe and everyone else can use the park as it was intended... to smoke tons of weed.

Chris Flash said...

Bowery Babe:

You must have attended ANOTHER meeting. I was there and I took notes.

YES, there are needles in the park. They are left there at ALL hours, whether or not the park is locked.

Tell us exactly HOW closing the park at night will remove or reduce drug use and resultant needles.

Stop kidding yourself and STOP calling for a LOCKDOWN.

Closing the park will NOT prevent or stop ANYthing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, duh. Obviously in the woods leaves are not raked. What I was trying to say is that in parks, and private property that has nature, let the fallen leaves be. Not making a big critical point here, I just personally love nature more than cement.

Anonymous said...

The junkies should be rounded up and relocated to the back yard of Gracie Mansion. There is a lot of space and it has a nice view of the East River. And Mayor Adams can have them over for meals and showers.

Anonymous said...

Most likely the loss of East River Park has added to the stress on Tompkins Square Park, as well. The city had no plan to increase funding for care of neighboring parks that might experience increased usage, and now that lack of planning or mitigation of ESCR's effects is showing in other parks in the EV and LES (along with the effects of the pandemic). City administration seems to have absolutely no concept of how important green spaces and parks are to the overall livability of a city.

Anonymous said...

The park was kind of beautiful a couple of years ago when that wonderful woman was taking care of the gardens. Now it's a dump.

Anonymous said...

More obnoxious than the occasional drug addicts are those priviledged arrogants who let their does roam the central lawn area instead of the dedicated dog run. Unsanitary condition. This scared the hawk fledgingling away during the spring. Needs enforcement. - On the other hand, drug addicts need help against their state of despair from trained mental health and social services.

Bowery Babe said...

Chris Flash - I also was at the meeting and have an excellent memory.

Needles are left at all hours? Not in the children's play area. Only people with children are allowed there and they are not there after midnight. And in the dog run? I doubt devoted dog owners would tolerate addicts shooting up in that area while their dogs are running around.

I am NOT kidding myself. More crimes happen under the cover of darkness than in the daylight. You however are kidding yourself if you think giving drug dealers free range under the cover of darkness is not a problem.

Park closing at midnight with a sweep of the park by police and bright lights would clear up this problem immediately.


Anonymous said...

This last comment makes excellent points--when the city closed (destroyed) East River Park, it made the other few remaining green spaces in the area all the more critical to the well-being of residents. They should have devoted resources to Tomkins, cleaned it up, fixed up the forever broken fences/benches etc. The city budget is $100 billion and you're telling me they can't do basic maintenance in a park in a densely populated area of Manhattan?? This is an outrageous failure on part of our leaders and we should take them to task.

Anonymous said...

NYC is now spending a ton of money on “Open Streets” program.
Instead of wasting money on that, City should be spending on parks.

On a related note on Friday 11/18 there was a street “fair” (eg socks and gyros) for 1 block on Fulton between Broadway and Nassau.
The NYPD was tasked with assigning officers parked in a vehicle all day to “guard” the street fair.
Complete waste of NYPD resources and tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Carlina is more concerned with making Ave B an obstacle course for transit which makes NO sense instead of caring for the park

Anonymous said...

There's no transit on Avenue B. The M9 runs on Avenue C.

Anonymous said...

More pine needles, less hypodermic needles

Glamma said...

Omg please. I'd rather hang out w every junkie, crusty, dealer and hustler in the park than these INSUFFERABLE rich white yuppies who are driving them out. When and where is the rally to get rid of the yups?? Bc I'll gladly take off work for that.