Date: 10/10/06 9:26 AM
A report of an incident:
This morning, a friend and member of the Juniper Park Civic Association and its Executive Board was walking his two sons through Juniper Park, taking them to school.
He does this each morning as an opportunity to enjoy their company, talking about school, family, friends, etc. The two boys are young and well behaved, and obviously enjoy this time with their dad.
The shortest path through the park takes them smack through the thickest congregation of dogs and their owners. To take another paved path would not only be longer, but would eventually have the three of them cut across a grassy area where the large number of dogs have spilled and dumped. And, in any event, there are still many dogs in any alternate route.
This father has been harassed many times, twice phoning the police who arrived and left without summonsing any dog owner. Is that bad? Well, just recently, at the park, one of those officers told me that the Captain (Shanley) had given instructions (orders) to be lax on the owners of unleashed dogs. He told me this right after he had driven into the park (at our insistence), spoke to many owners of unleashed dogs, given no summonses, and returned to us. The harassed father agreed that this was, indeed, the same officer who failed to summons with the explanation that these were the Captain's orders. All this is worth mentioning because recently, the Captain told me and Bob Holden that "as long as a law is on the books, we will enforce it."
The officer in question was sincerely bewildered as to what the state of the law is, because of this insolent Parks policy and a Captain who is catering to his career.
As this family was walking the path to school, one man, an owner of an unleashed dog, and, apparently, a "no-leash" advocate, threateningly confronted the father with his two young sons, demanding to know why they just had to use the path through the dogs. The dog lover demanded that the father find some other way to go through the park.
To this no-leash advocate, apparently dogs have rights superior to people, young children or adults.
This insane Parks Department policy has unleashed the darkest behavior in people who value animals more than people.
Thanks to the videographers on this mailing list, we now witness daytime unleashing of dogs; dogs who are seen fighting, harassing strollers, defecating (you're right - with no cleanup!), mating (another dangerous time for the unwitting to be near), and otherwise running, uncontrolled, with no owner visible. Naturally, also absent from the video scenes are Parks or NYPD enforcement.
Email to the 104th Precinct has been broken for months, but feel free to write to the captain (or to the Police Commissioner and/or the Mayor):
104 Precinct Commander
64-02 Catalpa Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385-5257
Or, you can fax him at 718-381-0627