August 11, By Jason Cohen
Elected officials are asking parents to download a free app designed to protect children from unsavory characters in city parks and playgrounds.
State Senator Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Ron Kim spoke to parents yesterday at the Northern Playground, located on Northern Blvd (bet. 93 St. and 94 Streets), where they discussed the ParentPatrol app, which allows users to report and record suspicious activity–in an effort to keep tabs of dangerous people at city parks.
Assemblyman Kim said the app, which was introduced a year ago, has come out at a good time since there has been an uptick in inappropriate activities and violent crime in New York City parks of late.
During the first quarter of Fiscal 2017, the Parks Department reported that violent crime was up nearly 12 percent, from 219 to 245, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Additionally, ‘crimes against properties’, such as theft and vandalism, rose 45 percent, from 172 to 250.
Users of the app can record suspicious activity, make reports of what they have seen which will be used to notify elected officials, community boards, Parks Department and local police precincts. Users can include details like the GPS-tracked location where it occurred.
Residents are able to get up-to-the minute news alerts from other parents who make submissions via the app.
Peralta said that parents should take advantage of the app and hopefully it will make them feel safer.
“Technology is here to stay, and it is vital that we use it as much as we can to ensure the safety of our children. This free resource will permit users to report any inappropriate behavior or potentially dangerous instances to the local authorities,” Peralta said.