Friday, July 06, 2007

East River Park Fireworks Glitches

We watched the July 4 fireworks from PortSide New York's Mary Whalen, which is docked at the container port in Red Hook, although we did wonder how things went at the new East River State Park in Williamsburg. The answer is, apparently less than perfectly. Curbed's Wire reported late yesterday afternoon:
After all the hoopla - state parks closed the park for the fireworks after supposedly 4000 people were in the park. Just as many were outside, locked out. The police/park rangers were very rude and the crowd very unhappy about the situation. The block it two full city blocks, huge, and there was plenty room inside for more visitors to the PUBLIC park. Even further evidence the state has no idea how to manage public spaces in NYC.
Apparently, the park did not--as we heard some people predict in advance--have enough Rangers and police on hand to handle a larger crowd. Overall, sounds like fun for those that didn't get there early and were locked outside in the rain.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the first year that the park was open to the public. That being said it was hard to gauge the amount of people the park could hold safely and the amount of patrol needed for coverage, considering there was no estimate on how large the crowd would be. As for the Park Police or Rangers being rude, I doubt that, unless you were one of the few that had to be corrected for violation of law, directives and or rules. They stayed out of peoples business and allowed the crowd to enjoy themselves, safely. (Love to here the specifics for the rude interactions you experienced or witnessed) There were only two reportable incidents and both were alcohol related. The officer and staff were professional but stern when needed. If you consider an officer being stern to an intoxicated patron who is ruining fun for attending families, then shame on you. State officials now know that the park can hold more people safely and how many officers are needed for the next time. The State Park Police, New York City Region consists of 16 officers currently and considering we patrol 3 major viewing platforms for the fireworks show, as well as additional parks, adequate coverage is alittle hard. You might suggest them calling in additional resources, but July 4th is a huge event day for NY State Parks and with 270 officers statewide we are taxed to the max for coverage. NYCPD is also taxed so requesting additional resources from them is unlikely. Your observations are well stated but one sided. Cya next year!

8:30 PM  

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