Pol calls for added security after youngster finds gun in Coney sand

August 18, 2014 Meaghan McGoldrick
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One local pol is calling on the New York City Parks Department to step up its game after a 10-year-old girl got her hands on a loaded handgun at the Coney Island shore on Monday, August 11.

“Hearing that a child came across a loaded handgun while simply playing in the sand was shocking and concerning to say the least,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger, urging the department to provide additional Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers.

According to Treyger, the child was walking along the Coney Island shore near West 19th Street with her mother when she came across a 9 mm, which was loaded with both sand and a bullet.

“I am very relieved that nobody was injured or killed as a result, and I am not willing to keep taking chances when it comes to the public’s safety in Coney Island,” said Treyger, just three weeks off a press conference where he and Borough President Eric Adams called for more PEP officers in wake of the drowning death of 10-year-old Takara McDuffy on Tuesday, July 22. “This must serve as a wakeup call to City Hall and the Parks Department regarding the need to provide additional Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to our community, especially given the increasing number of New Yorkers and tourists visiting Coney Island.”

While the two formally requested more PEP officers in an August 7 letter to New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Treyger has said enough is enough – and local residents agree.

“That scares me a lot,” said Coney Island beach-goer and Bay Ridge resident Roberto Castellanos, who attributes the incident not to a lack of security but, rather, a lack of control on guns and other weapons in the area. “Having a cop or a PEP officer on every corner and every five feet of beach doesn’t necessarily make people feel safe.”

Still, Castellanos and electeds agree, something needs to be done.

“Considering the growing number of people flocking to Coney Island to enjoy the great amenities including our beach and boardwalk, we must make sure that southern Brooklyn receives its fair share of Parks Enforcement Patrol officers,” Treyger stressed, adding that this year’s city budget specifically allots funding for more officers, “and I am asking that they be deployed to Coney Island in light of the clear need that exists here.”

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