Area residents complain of ‘rampant drug dealing and drug use’ in Washington Square Park

Manhattan

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan — Residents around Washington Square Park feel uncomfortable in the area because of an uptick in drug use in the park.

There was additional police presence there on Sunday to give the community an increased sense of safety. The park was also set to close two hours earlier than usual.

Susan Lee, who’s running to represent the area in the City Council, said drug use was a real issue in the neighborhood.

“There’s rampant drug dealing and drug use at the park and it’s really causing a public safety concern,” she said.

Drug users used to congregate in the northwest corner of the park, where barriers have since been installed, but they migrated to the center and southwest corner of the park, Lee said.

“I think we need more community policing. We need to find services for the drug users,” she said. “We just really need a new direction in our city government.”

An NYPD spokesperson told PIX11 about a number of issues in the area.

“This behavior has included jumping on vehicles, making threats to officers, throwing objects such as bottles and other objects at police and in one instance throwing unknown objects at responding FDNY and EMT vehicles which were responding to a building fire,” the spokesperson said.

A Parks Department spokesperson said they’ll adjust their “approach as needed.”

“Our Parks Enforcement Patrol officers are collaborating with NYPD to address large gatherings, amplified sound, and other conditions in the park on weekends,” the spokesperson said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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