Riverbank State Park in Harlem is losing all four of its rangers, just months after its operating hours were cut to help close a state budget gap, according to DNAinfo.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation sent layoff letters to the rangers earlier this month, telling them their jobs would end Jan. 1.
That means the 28-acre park, which runs along the river from West 137th Street to West 145th Street, will be without any full-time rangers, who patrol the grounds and help people navigate the facilities, union officials said. The rangers are considered by many to be the public face of the park.
The rangers’ union representatives complained that they weren’t given enough notice of the layoffs, and complained about the timing, in which workers were given pink slips just before the holidays.
"We understand the fiscal implications, which we’ve all been dealing with for several budget cycles. But these are human beings," said Chris Hickey, executive vice-president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents the rangers.