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Pol: Why can’t cops run park? • Brooklyn Paper

Pol: Why can’t cops run park?

East River State Park will close three months of the year due to budget cuts.
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessing

If one North Brooklyn lawmaker has his way, the boys in blue will keep one of the neighborhood’s few open spaces green this winter.

In the wake of state budget cuts that might close East River State Park from January through March, Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Williamsburg) proposed last week that cops from Greenpoint’s 94th Precinct keep the park open by unlocking it each morning, locking it each night, and patrolling it throughout the day.

“We all need to understand the enormous pressure everyone in state government is in to cut, cut, cut right now,” Lentol said about the park, which the State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation will shutter as a part of a $16-million budget trim. It would be the only park in the state that would be closed in this round of cutbacks.

“I think closing this park would be inexcusable,” Lentol added about the tiny green space.

Police have already agreed to open, close, and keep an eye on the park, which is between North Seventh and North Ninth streets. But the final decision is in the hands of state Parks Commissioner Carol Ash, who met with Lentol last week.

And it remains unclear whether she is willing to consider the lawmaker’s proposal.

“The Commissioner is very much appreciative of his support for the park,” said Parks spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee. “They discussed a number of different issues, but I’m not going to speculate on the future of the park.”

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