Diversity Plaza Gets Dedicated Police Officers to Address ComplaintsNot from The Onion (of course), but from DNAinfo New York.
By Katie Honan on June 24, 2014 5:00pm
JACKSON HEIGHTS — Two police officers have begun patrolling Diversity Plaza in response to complaints about vagrants, loud music and other safety issues, according to the precinct’s commander — good news for those who say the plaza has become a scourge in the neighborhood.
One officer is stationed on Broadway and 37th Road and another on 74th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, with a focus on “proactively addressing any of the conditions [at Diversity Plaza] …
“Right here in Diversity Plaza, there’s been a lot of complaints of vagrants, loud music, running the gamut,” he said. “I know it’s a very vibrant area and it’s used for a lot of great purposes for the community.”
Most of the complaints have been for drinking in public and sleeping on the ground among other things, he added….
The police presence is a welcome addition to some who walk in the plaza every day, some say.
“It’s a serious quality of life issue right now,” said Ruby Chacko, 38, who lives in Kew Gardens but visits Jackson Heights every day.
“If you see people spitting or harassing others, why not give a summons? It will be a deterrent,” she said. …
Agha M. Saleh, the founder of Sukhi, a group that helps maintain the plaza, said that it is still a destination despite its problems. … The police can help, but the cleanliness issue requires everyone to step up, he said.
“Every pedestrian is responsible,” he said, adding that Diversity Plaza has three garbage bins provided by the Department of Sanitation after originally opening with eight.
They removed the other trash bins after locals were dumping their household garbage in them, he said.
“Three bins are good enough,” he said. “If you don’t like this place, go home.”