EDITORIAL: To the NYPD and Parks Department: Thank You for Listening

It’s not often we get to applaud a city agency, but this week there is certainly cause to raise our proverbial glass to the NYPD.

And, it was just earlier this week that we thought we may have to write something chastising the department for being unresponsive to the community’s needs – but no longer.

After two of our Queens legislators recently allocated funding – $250,000 to be exact – for cameras in Forest Park, where there have been a string of horrifying sexual attacks, and attempted attacks, the NYPD at first would not commit to placing the surveillance units around the Queens park.

Because of that, the legislators turned to the Queens Parks Department and asked for help – which the department readily gave. The Queens Parks commissioner had been crafting a plan for her department to implement and oversee security cameras – which many civic leaders and residents say are desperately needed to deter crime in the area – when the word came later this week that the police department would promise to place the devices in the Forest Park area.

This whole story is truly one to be commended: Not only are we going to be receiving much-needed cameras, which will be monitored by the NYPD, but  both the Parks Department and the NYPD were open to working – and relatively quickly and well – with our community.

If only this could happen all the time, with all the city agencies. Imagine if the Department of Buildings actually responded to concerns that a Woodhaven building that experienced a roof collapse earlier this year should be demolished. Or the city Department of Environmental Protection didn’t tediously hand out fines to mom-and-pop shops for accidentally placing a recyclable in their trash can inside their store – before they even took the trash to the curb.

We all certainly have a litany of complaints about various city agencies – and, of course, the various groups can do good work, we’re certainly not saying it’s all bad news all the time. But, it is much of the time – so  let us hope that the new mayoral administration heeds the frequent complaints he has made as public advocate about the various agencies and act on that.

We know it can be easy to point fingers and say something should be done than to actually do it – but there has for far too long been a city focused more on earning a buck off its residents (often through fines and tickets) than actually working with the people who make Queens, and the other four boroughs, a place we want to live.

Still quiet here.sas

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