"They're building a $ 70 million dollar ice rink in the park but they don't have the funds to make sure employees are safe? You see the priority."
The Parks Department building is located at 397 Coney Island Avenue across from the tennis courts in the Parade Grounds near Prospect Park and is home to the Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) Brooklyn command as well the NYPD's Brooklyn South Task Force. The building is closed until further notice.
A rickety, city-owned building that houses peace officers who patrol Brooklyn parks had to be evacuated today — after officers claimed they were being overrun by raw sewage and rats.
“It was unbearable — sewage started bubbling up through the holes in the floor,” one disgusted officer said, according to the New York Post.
A reporter also spotted urinals in the men’s room covered in sewage, while a cat was let loose throughout the puddled offices to ward off rats and mice.
City Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers told the Post that the office building off Coney Island Avenue in Prospect Park has been plagued with sewage and rat problems for at least three years — and that their various complaints to Parks Department officials have fallen on deaf ears.
Today, the stench became so putrid that they had to bail after sewage began backing up throughout the building, stinking up offices, a lunchroom and other areas.
“We keep on asking for repairs, but the Parks Department keeps saying there is no money in the budget,” the peace officer said.
The dozen PEP officers responsible for covering Brooklyn’s 3,000 acres of parks were subsequently relocated to temporary office space in Queens shortly after the Post called the Parks Department for comment. Plumbers were later sent to the building to deal with the sewage problem.
A Department spokesperson said exterminators regularly bait the site for mice and would look into the complaints about rats.
Many of the Brooklyn officers said they spend half their time on the city clock having to clean up or deal with the office problems rather than patrol parks. Some claim to suffer from bouts of nausea and sinus problems from regularly inhaling noxious odors.
“This is outrageous that the city isn’t protecting its workers,” said Geoffrey Croft of the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates.
The Parks Department offices at Prospect Park are adjacent to offices used by the NYPD. Some cops yesterday said their building space stunk of sewage, too.