August 23, By Tara Law
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol is calling on the NYPD Police Commissioner to step up its presence around McGolrick Park following a spate of recent crimes.
Last week, a swastika was taped to a park table—days after the Charlottesville protests. Then on Friday, playwright George Carroll, 42, was stabbed to death while walking near the park with his wife.
Lentol penned a letter to Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill Monday calling on the NYPD to allocate more resources to the 94th Precinct so it can better monitor the park. Since the incidents, he said, several residents have contacted him via email and social media calling for action.
“Constituents have contacted my office and expressed their fear while walking through this park…,” Lentol wrote. “North Brooklyn is a collegial community. We are not a place of hate or violence. Please help us.”
In 2013, following incidents of vandalism and fire, the police installed a camera in the park and frequently stationed a police car nearby. A community organization, McGolrick Park Neighborhood Association, came together to draw more resources to the park.
According to Edward Baker, a spokesman for Lentol, the police have stopped parking the patrol vehicle near the park. Lentol would like the police to consider returning the police car and instituting other changes such as a police bike patrol and additional security cameras.
“After [last week’s] vandalism, it would have been common sense to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again,” Baker said. “The lack of attention to the security of the park was pretty evident.”
On Wednesday morning, Lentol reached out to the commissioner again to ask whether their was any footage obtained from the park’s camera pertaining to the recent incidents. The police have reportedly had difficulty getting good video, Baker said.
On Monday, locals gathered in the park for a “love and unity gathering.” The event was planned as a response to the hate crime, but after the stabbing the focus shifted to a call for increased policing.