Vet Mem’l Pk. security to increase

For years vandals have been causing excessive damage to the fields in Veterans Memorial Park, home to the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League, but new security measures are being taken to ensure a clean and friendly park. Photo Courtesy of Rachel Mazza

The Throggs Neck Girls Softball League, as well as the surrounding community, are seeking solutions to the constant vandalism plaguing Veterans Memorial Park.

For years, vandals entering the field area have been reeking havoc on the league, setting the storage shed on fire, destroying expensive equipment, igniting the rented portable bathroom, painting graffiti, and tossing garbage around the field.

“Its not a safe area for our girls, so I make sure to go and clean it everyday,” said Mazza. “These are very spiteful and malicious things they are doing.”

Recently, vandals have punched holes in the sprinkler system control boxes where the new sprinkler system is located and the park fountain was completely destroyed.

Looking for a solution, Mazza has been meeting with representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation, 45th Precinct, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Senator Jeff Klein, the Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park Committee, Community Board 10, Archdiocese Of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program, and Throggs Neck Coalition Action Partnership.

Pat Devine of the Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park Committee, hoping to keep an inviting and open element, would like to see thorn bushes placed around the outline of the park along Edgewater to discourage the mischievous intruders.

“We are looking into natural deterrents to eliminate access into the park by the girls softball fields,” said Devine. “We are tightening up the security to catch and vandals and prosecute to the full extent of the law.”

According to Parks, the park will be undergoing a $ 1.5 million construction project, with funds allocated by Vacca, former Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, currently in the planning phase, which will add trees, benches and beautify the entire park. The money will also add a 7-foot steel fence along the southern side of the park, bordering Edgewater Park.

“Safety is our highest priority and we continue to work with the Police Department on taking measures to reduce vandalism at Veterans Memorial Park,” said a spokesperson from Parks.

Parks continues to look into the idea of adding shrubbery adjacent to the new fence, but in a separate project, funded by Klein, will add a security camera to the area.

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