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Op-Ed May 2, 2011
The new Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP’s) staff brought in after the community uprising seem to be much improved. At approximately 7:00 PM today, a mentally ill man, likely schizophrenic, was standing on the esplanade by the volleyball courts near North Cove Marina. He was yelling for at least 15 minutes to imaginary people in the Hudson River. The PEP office was called, and within five minutes, an electric cart, with lights on, promptly arrived and shadowed the man.
The PEP duo were courteous and respectful. One of them, a man (Officer Saat), was new to the Battery Park City beat. The other PEP, a female (Officer Pugh), has been helpful in the past with homeless problems in Wagner Park.
In the recent past, the electric cart operators drove dangerously without lights on, were slow to arrive to similar situations involving mentally ill, and often were hostile to the resident making the calls. The new responses are encouraging.