Letter: Parks Department snubs qualified candidate for PEP

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Captain Falcon of PEPSeptember 21, 2013– Letter from Julian Fernandez

Dear BatteryPark.TV

I applied for a New York City Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) job recently and was not selected. They were looking for “experience and education” which require 60 credits. I have 123. I also have 20 months of conservation internships with americorps.gov and the SCA.org, and almost 2 years security experience at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Furthermore, I am a bilingual minority (Guatemalan) with past wilderness-first-responder certifications.

Unfortunately, my degree is in Art, and I now understand that the department does not like artists. However, criminals, sexual harassers, and nepotism is OK, as I will explain.

One might say that I am simply bitter about not being selected, however that is incorrect. Rather, I am upset to be told that my education and experience was a factor in my rejection, while there are clear indications that the PEP employs questionable individuals and engages in acts that waste tax payer money.

That being said, I wonder if you can help me?  I’d like to see this issue (The Parks Department drastically limiting artists, musicians and dancers in the hiring process), discussed more.

I am offering my experience in attempting to get a job with the parks as one example of the problems that plague the quality of life in NYC. None of my references, including a Security Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were contacted. Yet, it is not only candidates with less experience but also with past criminal records, and candidates promoted due to family connections That really upset me.

Is this linked story not a clear example of nepotism?  It is called “Mother, daughter duo: Answering the call of public service. “. I find it hard to believe that, at age 23, she “worked” her way up to the rank of Sergeant in the PEP. She even says, “I was very influenced in my choice of job by my mother…I said to myself, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ And here I am now, a UPR who completed my Seasonal Sergeant training last summer, following in my mother’s footsteps”.

I think it is extremely unfair that I, being a qualified minority with 20 months of volunteer (conservation) experience with Americorps and the SCA.org, am not good enough for the academy. Also, I am not from a rich family. I am a  lower class Bronx Resident.

As I  have said, there is proof of past hiring of criminals in the Parks Department and sexual harassment  of  female workers. The NY Daily News reported, “….many of the women harassed were part-timers and mothers on welfare — [who ] were encouraged to pole dance to get their bosses’ approval”

There are also various videos on YouTube depicting the PEP arresting art vendors in Central Park that lead me to believe that my art background may have been seen as a conflict of interests for the department.

Thank you, Julian Fernandez

Parks Dept. hires workers despite major criminal rap sheets, advocates charge

City Parks Department issues employee ‘Nonfraternization’ policy after exclusive Daily News report on alleged holiday strip parties

Mother, daughter duo: Answering the call of public service

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2 Responses to Letter: Parks Department snubs qualified candidate for PEP

  1. Sarah Burgess says:

    How utterly sad and ridiculous. I applaud Mr. Fernandez for stepping up and shedding light on the hiring process of this historically scandal-plagued organization.

    As a fellow program member serving with Julian in the SCA (Student Conservation Association) Mass Parks AmeriCorps program, I can attest (along with his uncontacted references) to his outstanding spirit of Public Service and environmental awareness, his leadership skill, and his ability to constructively, creatively and kindly communicate important issues to the country’s youth.

    The SCA is a highly reputable organization with an over 50-year history of producing some of the most educated, hard-working, thoughtful and dedicated conservation workers our country has known. The AmeriCorps program is outstanding Federal service experience, and a background in security for a public institution as well? Oh, and the 123 credits. Wow. Just wow.

    I am sad to see this important part of NCY infrastructure with an important mission and vision being used to employ more undeserving criminals into what is a LAW ENFORCEMENT position, and wasting our tax dollars on harassing some of the other folks that give NYC its flavor – the artists and musicians that brighten up our days and offer creativity as their gift to the world.

    Not to mention harassing children unduly, and sending a horrid message to the kids of the city: Police DON’T work for you, they are NOT on your side, they DO NOT care about your best interests, and they are to be feared and hated. That is not a way to build citizenship values.
    (see PEP harassing youth, and showing how highly educated and well-trained, caring, etc. they are here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq-J544G-lg )

    I am sure they’d never want such an upstanding young leader and activist in their department. His conscience is far too large, he is too respectful, and would never tolerate the disgusting behavior or power abuses that they, apparently, live for.

    Sarah Burgess

  2. Editor says:

    Regarding this clip you posted as an example of a PEP misbehaving https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq-J544G-lg , I support the officer in this case. Gangs of skateboarders, and now bicyclists, are becoming a scourge to the parks. They are now violently attacking pedestrians randomly


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