Police increase patrols in Washington Square Park, 30 arrested in recent months

Jim Dolan Image
Friday, August 5, 2016
Increased patrols in Washington Square Park
Jim Dolan reports police are stepping up efforts to control drugs and vagrants in Washington Square Park.

GREENWICH VILLAGE (WABC) -- Some Greenwich Village residents say Washington Square Park is being overrun by drug dealers, addicts, and vagrants. Police say they are taking action.

On a beautiful, sun splashed summer day, Washington Square Park is packed with musicians and dancers and parents and their children. Mixed in with all of them is some trouble.

"Everywhere you go there are drug dealers," a resident said.

"They should just round them all up and arrest them," another person said.

Reacting to complaints, police have started showing up in bigger numbers in the park lately and narcotics police have made more than 30 arrests in recent months.

Not everyone feels unsafe.

"The park is wonderful," said Kimberly, a resident.

Kimberly loves coming during the day, though she knows where not to go.

"There are certain corners that I would probably avoid, but this area is great. And the police have actually been around a bit more, so I think it feels safe over all," Kimberly said.

"After 6 o'clock it's pretty quiet, I'll still walk through if I'm heading in that direction, but I wouldn't come and hang out probably," one man said.

"Wherever you go there's going to be some knucklehead, some bad apple, you know how it is," another man said.

Some parents have a different view.

"The downside is the children. I mean they're walking past, or they walk past them all cracked out, all stoned. Take it someplace else, not here, this is not the place to do it," a woman said.