2008-10-03 / Letters

Something Has To Be Done

Dear Editor,

I am a local Rockaway resident and father of two kids. I have many concerns and complaints about the well being and safety not only of my own children, but of neighbors as well. To begin, one day I noticed some young teenagers, who live down the block, looking suspiciously and touching my neighbors' bikes, which were chained up. I called the 100 Precinct to report the activity. The response they told me was the following: "Thank you, someone will be driving down the block in about an hour or so. It is very busy." About five minutes later, I took a ride over to Dunkin Donuts on Beach 129 Street. As I was driving down the block, I immediately thought something terrible has happened! There were four cop cars on the block, all double parked. I parked my car, walked up the street and went into Dunkin Donuts. To my surprise, I walked in to find six cops drinking coffee. Was this the reason the precinct was so busy that they could not send police officers down my block when I called? Why was it going to take them at least an hour?

Another incident that occurred recently is a young woman was viciously attacked on the Beach 97 Street train platform. The police were called, they came and simply told the group of violent girls to get on the train and go home. This is after the woman who was attacked, clearly stated to the officer that she wanted to press charges. She was told that she could not press charges because she was intoxicated. The poor victim had not even been drinking!

Another example of how the 100 Precinct is falling apart: my husband was almost hit by a cop car of the 100 Precinct that was making an illegal turn with no lights on. Then there are the "simple" things, such as Parks Department employees not filling their job duties and responsibilities. My son, who is a huge fan of the skate park on Beach 91 Street, is not able to use it because it has been closed every day since the opening of the school year. The hours posted clearly state that they are open until 6:30 p.m. When I called the Parks Department to express my concern, they said that there was nothing that they could do.

Well, maybe one of the many employees you see sitting on the benches on the boardwalk smoking cigarettes, using extreme, loud profanity and leaving trash all over the ground could sit by the front of the gates of the skate park. I guess that is expecting too much from our tax dollars. This is the worst incident yet I have encountered since being a Rockaway resident. Just [recently], a little boy fell from the third story window of his apartment building on the corner of my block. This is a tragic case of neglect. Obviously this is a major fault of his guardians, but clearly a neglect of the city and/or the 100 Precinct, AGAIN. I can say this because child welfare, ACS, has been contacted on multiple occasions, there is currently an open case. Along with 911 calls by me and other neighbors on the block. 911 is called at least once a week because of verbal and physical fights that take place in the middle of the street, kids damaging property, suspicious behavior and/or child neglect. The reason why we call 911 is because the 100 Precinct is clearly too busy and are not able to send an officer out for awhile. Something must be done. Rockaway is falling apart. Do not let the dozens of brand new homes that are going up everywhere fool you. There is a poor little boy suffering due to lack of responsibility. Something should have been done a long time ago. This should have never happened.


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