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Neighbors: City should close Cobble Hill Park later so we don’t get ticketed

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Neighbors want to push back the closing time of Cobble Hill Park following a mini-ticket blitz that left late-night visitors facing costly summonses.

Cobble Hill residents are fighting to move the park’s curfew from 9 pm to 10 pm amid complaints that cops are issuing tickets for harmless after-hours activities in the greenspace, which is bounded by Congress, Clinton, and Henry streets and Verandah Place.

Civic leaders say the proposed rule change will ensure neighbors aren’t penalized for using a park path as a shortcut home or tossing a bag of dog poop in a park trash can after 9 pm — actions that reportedly left at least two neighbors footing hundreds of dollars of fines.

“I was surprised to learn the tickets were $250 — people have come forward to say it’s ridiculous,” said of the Glenn Kelly of Community Board 6, which recently met with members of the Cobble Hill Association to discuss the issue.

The later hours will likely decrease the number of summonses written, Kelly said.

After years of conflict over curfews in Cobble Hill Park, neighbors requested increased enforcement inside the greenspace following a knife attack outside the park in August and complaints about drug deals and occasional public sex inside it.

Officers at the 76 Precinct say they are working to find the sweet spot between too much enforcement and not enough.

“We’re not looking to storm in five minutes after closing then start writing tickets — but we have to enforce the rules fairly and across the board,” said Detective Paul Grudzinski.

He added that police are simply doing their due diligence by responding to reports that “crime and bad things” have plagued the small park in recent months.

Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor said the agency is waiting for a formal request from Community Board 6 before pushing back the closing time — but police are already giving it a thumbs-up.

The proposed 10 pm closing time would put the park in line with nearby Carroll Park’s curfew, which makes patrols easier for cops, Grudzinski said.

“We support the new hours, too,” Grudzinski said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

Updated 2:38 pm, October 15, 2012: Story corrected to note that Glenn Kelly is a member of Community Board 6, not the Cobble Hill Association. We regret the mistake.
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Reader Feedback

Or from Yellow Hook says:
And after you make it 10 PM, can you make it 11PM?

Then how about voiding all tickets that say 11:39?

Then, how about a curfew that begins at 12:01?
Oct. 15, 2012, 7:51 am
ty from pps says:
Hey NYPD -- there's a difference between "enforcement" and writing summonses. Ever thought about saying, "You aren't allowed here after 9:00pm. Please leave."

You're not making any friends with the judges who's courtrooms are flooded with summonses. If you show up to court, they usually dismiss them.

Does the NYPD realize that these summons are creating a criminal record? Do they realize that a woman innocently cutting through the park after work could now be faced with problems with employment? (there are many careers that are *very* sensitive to even the most minor of criminal offenses.... social workers, children's services, etc.)

NYPD -- try enforcing without throwing summons around like confetti.
Oct. 15, 2012, 8:42 am
James from Cobble Hill says:
Mr. Glenn Kelly is NOT a member of the Cobble Hill Association. Please get it right when quote people in your story
Oct. 15, 2012, 9:21 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I once walked there late at night after deliberately leaving any ID, cellphone, and cash at home. The NYPD stopped me, but once they figured out they'd have to take me in if they wanted to meed their ticked quota, they didn't want to take the trouble and very rudely told me to hit the road. I'd long lost respect for these uneducated thugs and it was nice to —— with them. I wasn't wasting their time, since their time wasn't being spent prevent crime in the first place.
Oct. 15, 2012, 5:06 pm
Jason from Cobble Hill says:
Glad they are making our community safer enforcing park rules over, say, rampant traffic violations.
Oct. 16, 2012, 11:47 pm
Anonymous from Cobble Hill says:
1st: we want enforcement and when they do it, we complain that they give out frivolous tickets expecting that the officers will know a criminal by what he/she looks like. 2nd: now the curfew is 10 PM. Now people will complain that they are still getting tickets for being in the park after 10 PM. When will the complaining stop and when will people realize that IT'S AGAINST THE LAW TO BE IN THE PARK AFTER CURFEW EVEN 1 MINUTE AFTER THE CLOSING TIME? WAKE UP PEOPLE! I am just happy the cops are patroling our neighborhood!
Oct. 19, 2012, 7:15 pm
Verandah Lover from Cobble Hill says:
Lots of frustrated housewives having sex in the park... I should know, I've been with more than a couple. Of course, that begs the question what one's erstwhile husband is doung when he "has to work late" but what the heck?

76th Pct and Cobble Hill crybabies need to get their priorities straight.
Oct. 21, 2013, 6:47 pm

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