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Waterfront communities: Harbor Patrol needed to alleviate noise

Bronx Times
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Communities along the northeast Bronx waterfront are requesting a dedicated Harbor Patrol station on a year-round basis, following complaints of loud music and inappropriate behavior from boat passengers deteriorating quality-of-life in the area.

It’s an initiative spearheaded by the City Island Civic Association, who over the last three years, say the blissful and natural environment has been disrupted during the summertime.

“There have been some excessively loud music during all hours of the day and night, and super wreckless jet ski riding,” said City Island residents, Maria Sheridan and her husband, John. “The music has been concert level loud so the boat might be a mile away and houses are still vibrating from the base of the music.”

As a result, surrounding communities including City Island, Spencer Estate, Country Club, Edgewater, Throggs Neck, Silver Beach, the waterfront condominiums and Locust Point have banded together in a letter writing campaign to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who announced his resignation on November 5.

The Sheridan’s hope the new NYPD Commissioner, Dermot Shea, is willing to hear their concerns and act swiftly before next spring, they said.

They have also reached out to local elected officials such as Councilman Mark Gjonaj, Community Board 10 and Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

The community is also requesting that the NYPD NCO program be extended to the officers of Harbor Patrol, enabling flexibility to address issues on the water and to further build a positive relationship between communities and the NYPD.

“Of the five boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan have permanent, dedicated Harbor Patrol Units. Why not the Bronx?” said Deborah Roff, president of the Edgewater Park Owners Cooperative Inc., in a letter to the commissioner.

According to Roff, large troublesome boats have been observed traveling through the Eastchester Bay waters with their boat registration numbers covered with black cloth, obscuring any means of identification.

After placing numerous calls to 311 and 911 regarding noise on the water over the last three years to no avail, residents are overly frustrated.

While their complaints were forwarded to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, they have received no response, according to the Sheridan.

“They need a cross street to go forward with the complaint and obviously out in the water there’s no cross street, so hundreds of calls made by ourselves and others went nowhere...it hasn’t been logged in the 311 call system,” the Sheridan’s said.

In response to residents’ concerns, the Harbor Patrol coordinated efforts with the 45th Precinct NCO officers for assistance to address quality-of-life issues, safety and illegal activities plaguing the northeast Bronx waterways.

Lynn Gerbino, president of the Throggs Neck Homeowners Association, said, while they “love, respect, and support the NYPD officers and appreciate their efforts,” it’s time for a permanent Harbor Patrol station in the Bronx.

Updated 2:38 pm, November 14, 2019
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