Dept. of Parks and Recreation

Parks Patrol Captain Rescues Two Women in Car Accident in the Bronx

November 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS A quick-acting Parks Dept. patrol captain in Local 983 rescued two injured women trapped in a Jeep that flipped over in a three-car collision in the Bronx. “The Jeep was smoking and gas was leaking from the vehicle,” said Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer Capt. Domingo Sanchez, who was traveling along the Bronx River Parkway when he came upon the three-car pileup, which occurred as the first major snowstorm of the season hit New York City. “I saw that the last car, a smaller vehicle, rear-ended the Jeep and flipped it over. The Jeep just hit the car traveling in front. I got out to see how I could help when I found two women trapped inside the flipped vehicle.” Racing against time, Sanchez climbed onto the Jeep to pull the passenger to safety. “The driver was complaining that her neck was hurt and she couldn’t move,” Sanchez explained. “I told her, [More...]

Local Presidents Administer Exam for Parks Dept.’s Arborist Jobs

June 20, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The Dept. of Parks and Recreation tested 10 applicants hoping to join the agency’s “delta force” of expert arborists who maintain and remove damaged and dead trees in the five boroughs. Dept. of Parks Climbers & Pruners Local 1506 President Ibn Mann and Mike Zeno, president of Parks Supervisors Local 1508, administered the exam in Forest Park, Queens earlier this month. In addition to a timed climb up a tree using brute strength, a harness and ropes, applicants took a written test and a practical exam to test their knowledge of knot tying, ability to identify species of trees and operate bucket trucks. Climbers and Pruners jobs are physically taxing, making it a hard-to-recruit title. This year, 10 men applied for five openings. “I was very pleased to see many viable candidates take the climbing test,” Mann said. “I’m confident Parks will [More...]

Rookie of the Year Helps Find Where the Wild Things Are

June 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS For New Yorkers who want to roam the wild, public parks are urban forests teeming with over 600 species of wildlife. Tracking the migratory and breeding patterns of birds, bats and beasts is Community Coordinator Karolina Janik, a self-described computer nerd who works at North Arsenal of the Dept. of Parks and Recreation. “I always wanted to work in public service and for my work to have purpose,” said Janik, a Social Services Employees Union Local 371 member, who was raised in Baltimore. “Before I moved here, I never realized how much wildlife exists in New York City.” Janik collects data on red-tailed hawk fledges nesting on a 96th Street fire escape and wild coyotes in Pelham Bay. She finds blue, yellow, and orange warblers that dart skyward and make New York City a stopover on their epic annual migration from South America to the Artic. Marshlands along [More...]

Ready for the Summer

June 28, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS To be ready for the summer, the Parks and Recreation Dept. got an early start. Its Municipal Lifeguard Training Program helped 350 fresh-faced teens qualify as state-certified City Lifeguards represented by DC 37 Local 461. To meet the job’s demanding qualifications, the recruits attended weeks of rescue classes and workout sessions after school to ace the written exam and swim test at Manhattan’s Chelsea Pool April 17. “The training is grueling but these kids have proven themselves to be the best of the best—strong competitive swimmers who are eager to work hard to keep the public safe,” said veteran Lifeguard Supervisor Javier Rodriguez of Local 508, one of the test administrators. “These first responders have a tremendous responsibility beyond their years,” said Local 508 President Peter Stein. “Most kids’ first jobs are in fast food or at the [More...]

Mounted Unit Protects City Parks

May 25, 2017 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS Keeping New York City’s natural jewels, verdant parklands like Van Cortlandt Park, Central Park and Prospect Park, safe are the equestrian detail of Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers. The Parks Mounted Unit consists of eight Local 983 Urban Parks Rangers and their supervisors, who ride and groom six horses that are used to patrol acres of meadows, wooded trails, ravines and sandy beaches. “We select UPRs with at least two years’ experience for training,” said lead trainer Jessica Cowan, a 20-year veteran Associate Parks Enforcement Patrol Officer in DC 37 Local 983. Parks trains its horses at HOOPH, a new heated stable on Staten Island that houses horses used to help people with special needs. The nonprofit organization lends two stalls to the city Parks Dept. to board horses. The grounds have an indoor rink and five miles of riding trails that allow the [More...]

Privatization of security at Battery Park City provokes community outrage

February 3, 2016 // 0 Comments

  By DIANE S. WILLIAMS In a move that flouts a community’s repeated demands to keep city Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers at Battery Park City, the authority ousted all PEP Officers and put AlliedBarton private security guards in their place. The move set off a firestorm with residents, politicians and the union who unitedly say, “Bring PEP Officers back!” “It’s outrageous that the board would be so flagrant as to ignore the community and elected officials, and jeopardize safety at Battery Park City with AlliedBarton rent-a-cops, whose response to danger is ‘Do nothing!’” said Joe Puleo, president of Local 983, which represents the PEP Officers. At a December meeting, the authority led residents to believe the tony community would continue to have a security force of PEP Officers and private “safety ambassadors.” But chair Dennis Mehiel announced Jan. 30 on the [More...]