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Mayoral hopeful Eric Adams on Sunday decried the “open disorder in our parks” after The Post reported on recent violence and vandalism at Washington Square Park — but he suggested a less “heavy-handed” solution than cops in riot gear.
“Parks in our city are family places. They should not be about drugs and disorder, they should be about our sons and daughters,” the Democratic frontrunner told The Post after a campaign stop at a church in Queens.
“We can’t have open disorder in our parks,” said Adams, a former NYPD cop. “That is not acceptable.
“But we could do it without being heavy-handed in the process,” he added.
Adams said the city needs to employ a “real, comprehensive approach” to stop the violence, raucous partying and open drug use — in lieu of the recent strategy of NYPD officers forcefully clearing the park while decked out in riot gear to enforce a since-lifted 10 p.m. curfew.
“We don’t have to go in with the SWAT team. We don’t have to go in with helmets and gear,” said the Brooklyn borough president, who leads most polls of the race to succeed term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The ex-police captain’s comments come after left-wing candidate Maya Wiley said Monday that the NYPD’s aggressive curfew enforcement is an example of the city “wasting” its resources.
Adams, a tough-on-crime candidate, said the situation needs to be dealt with — though he conceded the city must use a tactful strategy.
“We need to go in with real support services, interact with people on the ground, find out the needs,” Adams said Sunday.
“But we have to really invest in it, and then we need to go to our other parks so we don’t create this atmosphere in the first place,” he said of his vision for how to handle recent mayhem and law-breaking in Big Apple green spaces.
“We have to improve our quality of life in this city,” Adams added. “Let’s get this under control and then reach out to our other parks. Let’s amp up our park enforcement.”
The Post reported that on Saturday, six people were injured in and around Washington Square Park in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village — including a man who was beaten and two people knifed in a wild brawl.
A 10 p.m. curfew had been put into place at the park about two weeks earlier amid mayhem there — and led to clashes with cops. The restriction was lifted Friday, going back to midnight — although people openly flaunted even that time restriction Saturday.
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