Diana Kaouris, one of the police officers patrolling Forest Park. Two NYPD officers have been assigned to patrol Forest Park after a number of sexual assaults. According to the commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, the two officers will be patrolling the 550-acre area 7 days a week, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Photo: Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska/DNAinfo)
Two officers have been chosen to patrol Forest Park after a string of sexual assaults in recent years, the authorities said, according to DNAinfo.
But the patrols will mostly cover the daytime hours at the massive park, which was the site of an early evening sexual assault at the end of March.
Eric Yun, a spokesman for Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, said the pol "is pleased that the 102nd Precinct is patrolling the park more often and there is a dedicated patrol for Forest Park."
"But we also want to make sure that they are patrolling it at night as well," Yun added.
The officers, Diana Kaouris, 26, and Mary Carter, started patrolling the park last week, said Capt. Henry Sautner, Commanding Officer of the 102nd Precinct, which covers Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven, at a community council meeting Tuesday.
Kaouris and Carter were chosen out of more than a dozen cops who applied for the job.
“I chose the two best qualified officers,” said Sautner. He described the cops as “very conscientious and very eager.”
The move comes as 10 new officers will be assigned to the 102nd Precinct starting this Friday, increasing the precinct headcount to 156 officers, Sautner said.
The two officers, Sautner said, will be patrolling the 550-acre area 7 days a week, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Both cops will work five days each and their hours could change depending on activity levels in the park, which closes at 9 p.m.
“You’ll be seeing them out there. They will be on bicycles, they will be on foot,” he said. “They will be my eyes and ears in the park.”
The patrol was created after a series of attacks targeting women that occurred in the park in recent years and complaints about drug and alcohol use.
The most recent sexual assault took place March 29 about 7:25 p.m. when a 23-year-old woman was attacked while jogging. The suspect grabbed her from behind, shocked her with a stun gun and sexually assaulted her and is still on the loose, cops said.
The officers will also deal with quality of life issues, including drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in the park, Sautner said.
“They are our liaison in the park (…) almost like an extension of community affairs on a smaller scale,” Sautner said.
Kaouris, who has worked for the NYPD for 5 years, said she applied because she felt she “would be great for the position.” “I’m into the outdoors, I’m into running around and it’s an active position,” she said.
“As a female I want women to be able to approach me and feel comfortable,” Kaouris added.
The other officer, Mary Carter, was chosen the Cop of the Month in April for making five robbery arrests in a one month period, Sautner said.
Two Cops Chosen to Patrol Forest Park After Sexual Assaults
DNAinfo - June 19, 2013 - By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska