You are reading

LIC Residents to Hire Private Security Guards to Combat Crime on the Hunters Point Waterfront

Obi Onyeador (Unsplash)

Aug. 21, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Enough is enough, according to a number of Long Island City residents.

A group of residents are so fed up with the high levels of anti-social behavior along the Hunters Point waterfront that they are hiring a private security firm to patrol the area.

The group says that crowds of young men and women have been descending on Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park all summer and taking part in drug and booze-fueled rave parties that last throughout the night.

Meanwhile, other delinquents, they say, race quad bikes and motorcycles inside the parks, through the streets and along sidewalks.

Last week a group of around 45 residents came together and made the decision to hire a security firm to tackle the problem. The group wants the security officers to deter crowds from congregating.

The security officers will patrol the walkway outside both parks in September and October, according to resident and organizer Yolanda Tristancho. The group hopes that their presence will be enough to stop rabble-rousers from coming to the parks when they close at 10 p.m.

 

“Things have gotten so bad that people have moved out of the area,” Tristancho said. “We feel we have no other action but to take this into our own hands.”

Tristancho said that the quality of life for residents living in the neighborhood has deteriorated and the area has become dangerous.

“Before you could go for a nice walk along the waterfront in the late evening but it’s just not safe anymore,” she said.

She said that the local police precinct doesn’t have the resources to constantly patrol the area.

Tristancho said that her group is hiring two security officers who will work from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

They will be unarmed and will carry flashlights. They have no real authority– other than to call the police if things get out of hand.

The cost for the security will be around $1,500 per week and the group is asking residents to pitch in via a Go Fund Me page which was set up Wednesday. The page has raised over $1,100 so far.

The group has also approached the big real estate companies that own adjacent buildings to see if they would contribute.

Empty alcohol bottles and plastic cups left over from a party (Photo provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Mark Christie, a 23-year resident and the vice president of the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, said the current situation is unacceptable and residents have been let down by the police and local politicians.

“We have been calling the police for four months about this carry-on and they only started coming down in the last few weeks,” Christie said. “We haven’t seen any politicians.”

Christie said that organized rave parties have been taking place on the streets at the southern end of Hunters Point South and people have been consuming alcohol and taking drugs.

“There were hundreds of people there last Friday night and it was the loudest music you ever heard,” Christie said.

He said that the streets and parks are left covered with empty alcohol bottles, plastic cups, and food waste. He said that illegal fireworks – which plagued residents earlier this summer– have been going off again in the area.

Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

Christie, who attended last week’s meeting, thinks the security personnel will help the situation and hopes they will co-ordinate with the police.

He said that restaurants — which are already struggling with COVID-19 restrictions – are also being impacted by the turmoil and need help.

The trash and unruly behavior is putting customers off going to nearby restaurants at night time, he said.

“How can you have outdoor dining with all this going on in our streets?” he said. “Parents are afraid to come with their kids and seniors are being scared off too.”

The HPPC volunteer said there has also been an increase in the number of homeless people flocking to the area and parts of the boardwalk have also been vandalized with graffiti.

“It’s just one thing after another,” Christie said.

“Something has to be done.”

Graffiti along the LIC waterfront. (Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page)

Provided by Hunters Point South Residents Facebook page

email the author: [email protected]

10 Comments

Click for Comments 
Tom

Ha! You think that video is bad? Try living on Astoria Park. This summer has been traumatic enough (5 neighbors within one block died of covid, that I knownof) but to be kept awake by war like explosives echoing off the Hellgate and Triboro Bridges, sound systems blaring and muscle cars engines and revving motorcycles….and entitled youths sitting on your steps littering, no masks on, doing as they please in delis with zero regard to others health..it has been truly hell. I would trade that noise in a heartbeat. Wish we had the money for private security in this part of Queens. This is why ”Defund” will futther income disparity. Defunding does not prevent private entities from hiring private security (including the former cops who got defunded and now work in private security)…this system will change nothing

Reply
Pablo Escobar

This a bad idea. Its not going to end well. The police should be the ones patrolling the area and we need to just keep putting pressure on them to do their job.
These precinct is just a few blocks away and these party goers don’t care ! You think that they will have any respect for two security
guys with flashlights!! Get real!

15
1
Reply
Tom

This is what happens when the community tells the police we want to defund you. They do a work shut down. They let you know, this is your future. Defunding is un-strategic, un-productive branding term for a desired outcome that is just and needed.

670
1
Reply
Jim Bouki

Just because you paid millions for your condo you think you can exclude certain people from enjoying the river view, a ride in the street, a party by the water. YOU people need to stop complaining and get used to it, it’s everyone’s street and river front!

8
21
Reply
Tom

Not everyone there is a millionaire. There are affordable lower income units at Gantry and the noise goes beyond Gantry …to the poorer housing nearby…which would be MINE. Please post your address so we can make noise outside your home at all hours. Thanks!

3
1
Reply
Pat Macnamara

Keep voting Democrat! The same Democrats with their soft on crime policies. The same Democrats who opened up the jails and freed the criminals. The same Democrats who reformed the bail laws. The same Democrats who demonize the police every chance they can. Progressives applauded these efforts! Now they need to hire private security while their tax dollars are being redirected towards phony programs instead of protecting honest citizens. Has it sunk in that Democrats are a criminals best friend yet?
In the meantime please encourage the vermin that ruins your neighborhood to use the new trash cans
https://licpost.com/park-officials-cut-ribbon-for-new-smart-garbage-cans-at-lic-waterfront

1300
4
Reply
Anonymous

Van Bramer? AOC?
Giannaris? DiBlasio? Where is everyone now to protect the neighborhood? Fought tooth and nail against Amazon but will not lift a finger at the disaster that home owners, tax payers, and community members face walking in their own neighborhoods. Maybe we should walk over at 2 am and tap them on the shoulder and ask them to politely clean up and go home. All these poor souls out of work with no money and plenty of time somehow can party all night, piss away money on booze and fireworks, and purchase uninsured un registered motorcycles. Screw them. Screw the politicians. I can’t wait to retire or until then…I’m hoping for Guliani 2.0.

24
3
Reply
Tom

Whats truly gutting, Amazon is a business that can weather this economic crisis. And this crisis ain’t ending until people stop acting entitled covidiots by refusing masks in stores. This is what happens when you tell the police they are unwanted. Simple math.

Reply
Mike

What happened to your progressive, liberal views LIC? It’s not fun when it hits your neighborhood?? Poor neighborhoods endured this for years. Wanna see more? Keep voting for democrats. This is just the beginning.

64
10
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.