BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Earlier this week, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) and Assemblyman Rob Kim (D-Flushing) gathered with the city’s Parks Department and Flushing residents to urge parents to use the new ParentPatrol app to ensure safety.
With crime in New York City’s parks up 23 percent and two cases of child molestation within the course of a week last summer at Bowne Playground in Flushing, Kim launched the ParentPatrol app to combat the problem by encouraging parents to monitor and report inappropriate behavior at playgrounds.
“Nearly a year ago, I began working on introducing ParentPatrol, a free app for parents and caretakers to crowd source community safety,” said Kim. “As an elected official and a father, I was alarmed by the recent rise in inappropriate activities and violent incidents in our city’s public parks. I am proud to announce that we’ve now hit a new milestone, with nearly 2200 downloads of the app and over 200 incident reports logged. The constructive feedback we’ve received convinces me that ParentPatrol is ready for even greater implementation across our city.”
The mobile app contains features such as suspect recording, with which users can record an individual’s inappropriate actions and reactions; calling option, which enables a user to make a call to 911 directly from the app; social sharing, through which users can share and receive alerts from friends and family who also have the app; alerts, which allows users to receive notifications regarding suspicious behavior in the area; and map, which notifies users about recent inappropriate behavior at parks around the city that has been reported.
“Technology is here to stay and it is vital that we use it as much as we can to ensure the safety of our children,” said Peralta. “This free resource will permit users to report any inappropriate behavior or potentially dangerous instances to the local authorities. Clearly, this smartphone application enhances safety in the parks and playgrounds for everyone, not just for children. This tool can be the difference between having a wonderful time at the park or experiencing a nightmare.”
The app can be downloaded for free on Apple or Android smartphones.
For more information on the app, visit www.parentpatrol.org.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.