Calls To Arm PEP Are Renewed After Recent Violent Park Attacks
Calls to arm Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers have once again been renewed after a rash of violent incidents in city parks. While Federal and State park police carry firearms PEP are the only dedicated uniform park police in the city that do not.
A week after a madman stabbed five people in Riverside Park in broad daylight, injuring four adults and a 2-year-old boy, Parks Enforcement Patrol officers are demanding the city authorize handguns for them.
“We can get shot, but we can’t shoot back,” said Marlena Giga, who was a PEP officer for 14 years. “We’re police officers without the salary, the title and the gun.”
PEP officers carry batons, cuffs and pepper spray, but the Parks Department says they mainly address quality-of-life violations.
“The NYPD is the city’s primary crime-fighting agency,” a Parks spokesman said.