Parents Concerned as Teenagers With Knives Seen at Bloomingdale Playground near PS 145

The newly renovated Bloomingdle Playground. Photograph via NYC Parks.

By Daniel Katzive

Attendees at the monthly Community Board (CB) 7 Public Safety Task Force meeting reported increasing concerns about teenagers engaged in rowdy behavior and displaying knives after school hours at the newly renovated Bloomingdale Playground at 104th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, adjacent to PS 145, an elementary school.

Naveed Hasan, a PS 145 parent and member of the District 3 Community Education Council (CEC3), told the Wednesday meeting that the situation has been getting worse in recent weeks. According to Hasan, a patrol car from the 24th Precinct has been stationed near the park after school dismissal in response to concerns, but this has mainly resulted in shifting the problem to slightly later, after the car leaves. Police have responded quickly and in force, he said, when parents have called 911 in response to observing weapons, but the problem recurs in subsequent days.

Detective David Collado, Community Affairs Officer of Police Service Area 6 (PSA6), which patrols the Douglass Houses across the street from the playground, attended the meeting and said he would alert the Neighborhood Coordination and Youth Coordination officers at that NYCHA development to try to help address the problem.

Members of the Committee agreed a more comprehensive solution is needed, including potentially coordinating with school and parks officials while also improving access to after-school programs for teens being drawn into dangerous activity.

A Manpower Shortage

PSA6 is responsible for policing in all 21 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments in the 24th, 26th, and 32nd Precincts, an area stretching from 87th Street to 155th Street and from Broadway to Lenox Avenue.

Manpower is a constant challenge for the PSA given its wide geographic area of responsibility, Detective Collado noted. While PSA6 received 10 new officers from the latest recruitment class, this has been more than offset by retirements or departures for other departments, according to Collado.

He provided the Task Force with an update on measures the PSA is undertaking to improve “connectivity” with the community served by the precinct, including the formation of Precinct Commander Community Councils, and “Pop up with a cop”, targeted outreach efforts to areas in the community where connectivity with the police has been lacking.

On a more positive note, members of the Task Force welcomed news that a suspect had been arrested in the series of armed robberies affecting fruit stands and other small businesses in the 20th precinct. As WSR reported, “37-year old Ryan Little of Manhattan will face Federal robbery and weapons charges relating to the incidents.”

The next meeting of the Task Force will be on Wednesday May 25 at 6:30pm.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Joanne says:

      “Police have responded quickly and in force, he said, when parents have called 911 in response to observing weapons, but the problem recurs in subsequent days.”

      Why?! So the police show up, tell the knife wielding thugs to leave, and that’s it? Arrest them! The playground exists for young innocent children to play and feel safe. How are they safe with these juvenile delinquents having the complete freedom to hang out there and engage in illegal activity? And why are they there in the first place?

    2. UWSMomma465 says:

      My kid loves this playground and I had to stop going because these teenagers have made the playground feel so unsafe. I’ve had conversations with many caregivers about how much they hate the playground after 3pm.

      The teens are loud,use exceptionally terrible language, take over playground equipment…like actively kick little kids off of it, smoke etc. They claim they have a right to be there because they too are kids, but not if they make it impossible for everyone else to enjoy it.

      Nothing is probably going to be be done until someone gets hurt.

      • Debbie says:

        It seems that nothing gets done whenever anyone breaks the law in NYC lately. It’s become totally lawless. I never thought I’d feel this way but after 43 years living in Manhattan, I no longer feel safe on the streets or on the subway. Sad.

        • UWSMomma465 says:

          Yeah…they regulate the easy things like parking tickets and kind of pull the shade over their eyes for everything else that isn’t high crime.

          I was at the playground once when a police woman was “sweeping” away the teens. It made me think something was actually happening. I wish she stuck around to keep them away.

        • David S says:

          If you’ve truly been living in Manhattan for 43 years, then you certainly remember the late 80s when the rates of all crime categories where several times higher than they are now. Did you really safer then than you do now?

          • Jim says:

            That’s right, its much worse than when you moved here in 1979.

          • Survivor says:

            What’s your point? Terrorists killed more Americans on 9/11 than they may kill on another more recent day. Does that mean we should stop trying to prevent terrorist attacks?

    3. Joey says:

      Teens with knives in a playground. Recipe for a disaster. Can a gun fight be far away.
      Where are the violence interrupters?

      • UWSMomma465 says:

        Truth be told, I was there when a fight broke out and I was a bit terrified there would be weapons. This, and the teens who crowded me and my son off equipment AGAIN, was when I decided to stop bringing my son there.

    4. CGL - mom says:

      My child was threatened with a knife at this playground recently and bullied with friends. The group of youths wielding knives and stealing belongings are young too. They need intense intervention and safe, fun outlets or things will get worse soon (with other weapons) and the kids will grow up to be much more dangerous adults. I won’t let my adolescent go there again. It’s a shame. My kid loved the place but that was one very bad day that could have been much worse.

      • Sarah says:

        Yes. These are young people, too. What activities are being provided for them after school to keep them entertained, safe, and busy? Teens aren’t trash to be “swept” away.

        • Jen says:

          Nobody wants anyone to be “swept away”. However there’s such a thing as accountability.

          The behavior is lawless, perpetrators should be held responsible, not entertained.

          • Sarah says:

            Do you grasp that teenagers do not have the same maturity and judgment as adults? I bet if you had, say, a sixteen-year-old boy who got into a fight at the playground you wouldn’t be yelling for cops and calling him a “perpetrator.”

            Even if you’re just too scared of black people to think that any of them might ever be kids and “perpetrators,” simple freaking common sense should tell you that it’s cheaper to entertain these kids at after-school activities than pay for a lifetime of the incarceration cycle.

    5. Concerned mom says:

      My child and a group of friends were threatened with knives and had their belongings taken. The youths doing the bullying were young too. They need intense intervention and safe, fun outlets or their harassment will get worse with more dangerous weapons and they will grow up to be more dangerous adults. My kid loved the place but it’s a forbidden option in my home now. We had a very bad day that could have been worse. What a shame for our neighborhood and city.

    6. Paul Lanning says:

      Bad parenting/no parenting is at the root of this.

    7. Nevets K says:

      These teenagers and most other lawbreakers (except those who are mentally ill) operate on the lowest level of morality: “I behave because if I don’t, I’ll be punished.”
      As we have clearly seen over these past few years, once the threat of punishment has been removed, lawbreakers and potential law breakers have no check on their anti-social and often quite brutal behavior.
      End of story.
      Yes, it is as simple (and as distressing) as that.

    8. jimbo says:

      Years ago as a cop in this city we’d get out of the car and the condition was corrected.
      To bad the police have lost the respect they deserve. You can thank the City Counsil and all the rest of the liberals in this town for all of this mess.

      • Peggy says:

        Liberals want safe playgrounds. The Policing has changed. The Union no longer has them walking the “beat”. they stay in cars. Like this reader says “Finally, something is being done: those teenagers not only acting rowdy, they bully little kids that come to play on the playground after school (dump ice cream in hood of the jacket; push to a fall; throw a ball in the face- different cases). They taunt adults. Smoking vapes, weed on the playground. But when police comes, most of the time they say “we can’t do anything, because they didn’t do anything to you”. We’ve been requesting security guards for about a year, already.”

      • Will says:

        Respect is earned not given

        • Carlos says:

          Agreed. And the vast majority of police officers have earned our respect. It is really sad that people generalize negatively about police. I’m sure a few people in your profession, religious group, or something else you are affiliated with have done something bad. Should we generalize about you?

          That being said, the police would be well served to stop refusing to admit mistakes. This would make people less hostile to them. All officers deserve a fair trial but the refusal to turn in one of their own is ridiculous.

    9. Seriously? says:

      The juvenile offenders see the adult offenders back on the street same day. They clearly don’t worry about consequences because….there are none.

    10. A Fitz says:

      everyone needs to investigate what schools these kids are attending before dismissal a 3 and speak with their principal. at least email the local middle school and HS principals and involve them. if they have these weapons by the time they get to the playground then they had them at school too! this way the parents of these teens will be informed as well and there can be a much more involved approach then just moving them along each day just for them to come back and act the same way. its affecting a community so the whole community needs to be involved. also a weapon is ILLEGAL stealing from other children is ILLEGAL so why they are not apprehended for this is insane!

    11. Cas says:

      Finally, something is being done: those teenagers not only acting rowdy, they bully little kids that come to play on the playground after school (dump ice cream in hood of the jacket; push to a fall; throw a ball in the face- different cases). They taunt adults. Smoking vapes, weed on the playground. But when police comes, most of the time they say “we can’t do anything, because they didn’t do anything to you”. We’ve been requesting security guards for about a year, already.