Exclusive: Is the BPCA paying the city for no-show PEP officers?

Update  December 2, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

The missing PEP are found!

At the CB1 meeting tonight, a major announcement was made by the PEP officer assigned to give the update (PEP officer Ramos was unable to list the woman’s name when BP.TV called at 9:00 PM). The PEP officer stated that 10 new PEP had been hired, but also explained, when asked, that no new funds from the BPCA were made available.

In other words, the PEP that had been previously funded by the BPCA, and that were not being assigned to duty in battery Park City, have now been assigned.

BatteryPark.TV has been the only news source to obtain the actual contract between the BPCA and the city that detailed how many Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers the BPCA was supposed to be getting, and how many were supposed to be on duty. The full story is found below.

Battery Park City is supposed to have far more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers patrolling the 92-acres (35-acres of parks) than any other park in the city. In the 2013 contract with the NYC Department of Park sand Recreation, the BPCA contracts for 45 Park Enforcement Patrols (PEP), and pays $2,468,804 for these additional PEP that other parks do not enjoy. However, rarely are any PEP seen patrolling the grounds, particularly at night.

Stay tuned. We will believe this when we see it. At 9:00 PM tonight, PEP officer Ramos dodged our numerous requests to speak to his supervisor, saying, “They are in the field.” It is 30-degrees and raining. They are “in the field”, doing what? There is no sign of the PEP yet.

November 24, 2013- By Steven E. Greer, MD

Battery Park City is supposed to have far more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers patrolling the 92-acres (35-acres of parks) than any other park in the city. In the 2013 contract with the NYC Department of Park sand Recreation, the BPCA contracts for 45 Park Enforcement Patrols (PEP), and pays $2,468,804 for these additional PEP that other parks do not enjoy. However, rarely are any PEP seen patrolling the grounds, particularly at night.

How many PEP are assigned to the night shift, day shift, etc? How many Sergeants and Captains are on duty supervising them?

To answer those questions, BatteryPark.TV issued a FOIL request for the BPCA to produce the actual contract between the BPCA and City Parks Department (Click here for the BPCA City Parks contract). After long delays, the BPCA legal staff finally produced the document.

On page 20 of the contract, the staff per shift and salaries are detailed. On the evening shift, from 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM, there are supposed to be eight PEP officers on duty and one supervising Sergeant, making a total of nine PEP. The total cost for base staff of the night-shift salaries is $492,248 per year.

In addition, in the summertime, seasonal employees are added to the night shift. Two City Seasonal Aids (CSA) are hired to sit behind the “command desk” on West Thames. Those salaries cost an additional $101,474 for the year. As if that were not enough, one additional seasonal PEP is employed in the summer to patrol the grounds, costing $50,734.

At peak summertime season, the BPCA pays the city to provide a grand total of 11 PEP officers to patrol the BPC park grounds at night, from Midnight to 8:00 AM.

BP.TV has extensively toured the entire grounds of the BPC on Citi Bike (at all hours), and has never seen more than two PEP at any one time patrolling the night shifts. In most cases, no PEP are patrolling. The rare PEP sightings are always those of an insulated PEP inside an enclosed electric cart. At the same time as inspecting the outdoor grounds, BP.TV has gone to the PEP office on West Thames and discovered at least two to three PEP inside seemingly doing nothing whatsoever related to official job descriptions. An unknown number of others are hidden away in office spaces.

On one occasion, when BP.TV went to inquire inside the PEP office, the senior most PEP officer, Captain Edward Falcon, became angry. He threatened to arrest BP.TV (see video above). Captain Falcon is the defendant in a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit relating to the beating of a man in BPC by PEP staff.

On dozens of occasions over the last 24-months, when BP.TV has telephoned the PEP office asking for a Sergeant, the standard reply is, “They are not available”. The Sergeants are certainly not patrolling the grounds, so where are they? Are they refusing to answer calls, or worse yet, are they AWAL?

The BPC PEP have at least two sedan cars available for their use. On the weekends and evenings, at least one of those cars is frequently gone, off the BPC premises. The cars have been witnessed turning from the West Side Highway onto West Thames heading back to the office from unknown locations outside of BPC. Nowhere in the contract is it specified whether the PEP are allowed to take company cars for lunch or dinner breaks.

Assuming that BP.TV’s observations above are even remotely accurate, and that zero to two PEP at any time are ever out on the grounds actually patrolling the night shift, then that leaves eight to ten PEP unaccounted for, hiding, sleeping, or AWAL (On the day that Hurricane Sandy approached New York City, BP.TV captured the iconic image of a PEP snoozing, sound asleep, in her golf cart by Wagner Park. (See the 40-second mark of this video).

Amidst this scenario of massive dereliction of duty on the part of the PEP fleet, crime has skyrocketed throughout all of the city parks, including the once peaceful BPC parks. Right here in “Lake Wobegon”, a mother and son were mugged on the West Thames basketball court in broad daylight, other grand theft felonies of iPads, etc, have occurred, and people have been beaten by gangs of teens. (Nearby, in the Hudson River Park, a young woman was brutally raped.).

Back to the case of the mystery of the missing PEP officers, are they really sleeping and hiding, or are they simply nonexistent? Sources close to the BPCA have told BP.TV that the city supplies far fewer than the 45 staff actually paid for by the BPCA. (Stay tuned for more details as we investigate.)

One reason that the BPCA has not been absorbed as part of this city is that it provides a convenient balance sheet to provide a variety of sources of income to the city. In addition to the large $150 Million or greater check cut each year to the city, supplied by the PILOT charges of residents of the BPC, other sources of income to the city are sent in the form of PEP contracts, payments for pedestrian bridges and elevators that span into city property, payment to community centers outside of BPC (i.e. Manhattan Youth), and many other examples. In fact, the main reason that the BPCA absorbed the money pit called Pier A was to take that problem off the balance sheet of the city.

With crime skyrocketing, it is time for the BPCA to demand that it gets what it pays for in the form of 45 actual PEP officers who actually patrol the 92-acres (soon to be even larger) known as Battery Park City. A full investigation by state and city Inspectors General should be conducted.

Where is this mythical army of 45 PEP?

The crime problem in Teardrop Park worsens

Your money: BPCA spends $600,000 on geothermal well experiment, elevators, but still fails to fund traffic lights

PEP now suddenly refusing to remove tour buses

Violent crime in West Thames park, and no PEP in sight

PEP harass dog owners in nearby Battery Park

Grand theft auto in front of PEP headquarters

PEP still refuse to patrol West Thames Park

Inept PEP allow park crime to triple in 2012

PEP rough up and handcuff another man for walking his dog

Exclusive: The BPCA gives the PEP a $1.5 Million raise, renews contract, all with no public comment

Fishermen on the esplanade migrate north

Exclusive: ACLU investigating local Park Enforcement Patrol officers

 

This entry was posted in - City government, - Downtown oversight, - State Government, Battery Park City and BPCA, Crime, Parks, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Exclusive: Is the BPCA paying the city for no-show PEP officers?

  1. Stephen says:

    MDC says thanks and more on Falcone. Tie up the PEP with the IG report from a few years ago and show that nothing has changed.

    The whole area needs to be cleansed , purged, smudged from the horror of 9/11. The greed and the politics are still poisoning the area, it has become a tourist trap like eating at MAMA LEONE’S.

    Regards, MDC

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