2003-08-01 / Columnists

Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle

Big Brother On The Beach
Boyle-ing Points by Kevin Boyle Big Brother On The Beach

So much for the effectiveness of the Take Back the Beach rally. The nonsense continues unabated.

I suppose it is worth mentioning right now that some dear friends of mine are cops and others are retired after long, distinguished careers. Let me say, thank goodness for New York’s Finest.

But the NYPD is a big barrel and there are some funky apples in it.

A cop sits in his 3-wheel scooter, his eyeballs glued to a set of binoculars, drooling that opportunity awaits (or perhaps drooling for another reason). This is the break he’s been waiting for. His confidential informant ("CI" to you TV cop show watching buffs) has tipped him off to the fact that a guy’s been selling cotton candy around Beach 125 Street. Better, the snitch says there’s a couple of adults who’ve been known to have a beer with their sandwiches. Right there on their beach blankets. It’s not wine like they drink at park concerts—it’s real beer! A blatant disregard for the law. Make a bust here and it’s straight to detective. Ceremony at City Hall. Out of the scooter to the big time. Eventually take over as Captain of the 100 Precinct. Then things will really get in order around here. I’m in charge, we take down the jaywalkers. That’s right. Let them get away with jaywalking, next thing you know, they’ll be tearing off the tags on furniture.

The cop has to wipe the binoculars. He’s getting anxious, overexcited.

On the beach, some people take notice and grumble at the spying cop. "Is he looking for someone with a beer or is he staring at your daughter?" People nod their heads, good point. Maybe he’s a peeping tom. Maybe he’s enjoying this job too much. What if a few dirtbags set themselves up on a boardwalk bench with binoculars just so they could ogle the women on the beach? Think that would be tolerated? What’s this cop doing exactly? Just what kind of surveillance operation is this? Is he truly authorized to be using binoculars? To see what? Have lifeguards been unable to control these beaches? Have lifeguards ever been unable to communicate that police are needed?

Someone else says they quit drinking beer on the beach, they don’t want the hassle. But the grain alcohol and moonshine in the thermos is a nice replacement. Yeah, you can drink hard stuff from a thermos but take a sip from a lite beer and get a summons. Sheesh. Gimme some of that tequila.

The comments keep coming: how many coolers have been confiscated at Beach 116 Street? There’s not enough to do over there? The cops handcuff the lady selling ices (honest) and haul her off the beach—think they’re doing that to the gangs fighting at 116? Who leaves the garbage? Not the people who live here. See any fights? If the mayor says cops rightly use their discretion and don’t bother people "behaving" themselves—than what do we have here? Four adults, a good hundred feet from the boardwalk and nearest blanket, get set upon by this scooter cop for having beer. They get summonses. Was this "bad behavior?" Not to this witness.

So, who gets called on this? Well, who is assigning or okaying the police with binoculars on the boardwalk? That has to be Captain Talamo (often referred to as Captain Taliban by irritated beachgoers). He’s showing none of the "discretion" Bloomberg says cops should use.

If Bloomberg doesn’t know that Talamo is overseeing this kind of

police work (through Ray Kelly), he’s not doing his job and deserves blame. If he is aware and condones it, well, even Mark Green will be able to beat him next time.

Councilman Joe Addabbo has made comments about getting community "consensus" about beach rules. Memo to Joe: Get a seeing eye dog. Didn’t you hear about the rally? People are not happy, Joe. But forget the consensus for now. Why not visit the precinct and ask if "discretion" is actually being used. Maybe, Joe, you should ask the captain if stationing a cop on the boardwalk (to spot beer drinkers, boogie boarders, guys hawking cotton candy and other outlaws) is better than patrolling the streets? Use discretion, Joe. Ask some questions. Do we need city cops and "PEP" (Park Enforcement Police) breaking chops? Are Rockaway beaches subject to stricter enforcement than other city beaches and parks? Why is that? What’s with the need for that kind of "surveillance" from the boardwalk?

They say a lot of cops are embarrassed by all this—of course, too bad it’s just the ones who actually know how to use discretion. The others? Fingers are crossed that they leave with the summer season. (Oops, is crossing fingers some rule violation?)

Boyle-ing Over: Here’s a Standing O for the outstanding efforts by local all-star baseball traveling teams this past month. Time and again I’ve cited my own forgetfulness so I’ll say in ad­vance that I’m sorry for overlooking a bunch of good guys. But off the top of my head, I know pats on the back go to Tom Boggiano, Tom Boland, Richie Knott, Jim McCool, John Duggan, and Richie George jr.

**Get down to the St. Francis Sum­mer Classic for playoff action starting Monday evening. There are sure to be some great games in a great atmosphere.

**Great job by Keith Bugsy Gold­berg spearheading the Graybeard Family Fun Run. Hundreds of people ran (or something approximating running) and then convened for a barbecue and party at the St. Francis schoolyard. It was a terrific event. Sponsors were generous, the local cops a big help, and volunteers amazing.

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