Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Even More About Cops

More from yesterday's correspondent:
Today there were cops on horses, all dogs were leashed!
Hm. We wonder whether this seemingly increased vigilance has anything to do with the following letter, which one of our correspondents mailed last Friday but to which he he has so far received no response:
Deputy Inspector John A. Argenziano
Commander, 78th Precinct
65 6th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11217

Dear Inspector Argenziano:

I would like to call your attention to the blog at and in particular to a picture in today’s post, which has a picture of a police car driving by an unleashed dog and its owner at 4:38 P.M. yesterday in Prospect Park and not stopping.

As this blog documents, illegally unleashed dogs are a persistent and serious problem in Prospect Park. It is bad enough that the Parks Department now permits dogs to be unleashed in substantially all of the park’s open areas before 9 A.M., but dog owners regularly abuse this permission and let their dogs loose during the rest of the day and in areas where they are never allowed to do so, such as the ballfields, the horse path, and the park’s wooded areas. For the rest of us park users, the result is at best uncomfortable and at worst dangerous: I and others have been repeatedly menaced by illegally unleashed dogs. The necessity of having to look out for these dogs and their aggressive, scofflaw owners substantially detracts from what ought to be a relaxing park experience.

The DOPR’s Parks Enforcement Patrol does nothing to enforce the leash laws. PEP agents aren’t even on duty until 9 A.M., after off-leash hours are officially over. I and others have repeatedly called 311—and sometimes 911-- and were told that the complaint would be routed to the DOPR. But as a follow-up Freedom of Information Law request showed, in each instance the DOPR responded that “no resources are available”. That leaves the NYPD. But so far as I can tell, and as this picture demonstrates, the NYPD is doing nothing to enforce the rules.

The situation is even worse that the blog describes: the off-leash regulations require that as a condition for being off-leash, a dog must be licensed and must be vaccinated. But according to the Health Department’s own statistics, the vast majority of New York’s dogs remain unlicensed, and to my knowledge nobody, not the DOPR and not the NYPD, is asking owners of unleashed dogs to show a dog license or proof of vaccination. That means that you have masses of unlicensed, and for all I know unvaccinated, dogs being permitted to roam free in Prospect Park, on your watch.

And what I’d like to know is: just what do you plan to do about it?

But if so, then it's just a big show: what will certainly happen is that whoever is in charge will say "we don't see any dogs unleashed", the cops will go away, and the dogs will be unleashed. As they say, when the cat's away, the mice play. And the next cop to see one of these scofflaws will again warn him/her instead of giving a ticket.

And by the away, at about 8:40 this morning we saw one unleashed dog, owner out of sight, at the end of Wellhouse Drive near Terrace Bridge, busy digging a hole in the grass. Cops out of sight too.

No comments: