The NYPD has established a new task force to patrol Times Square, and that is just the beginning of the city’s efforts to combat the spread of aggressive panhandling, costumed characters and other quality of life issues.
As CBS2 Political reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the costumed characters seen around the Times Square pedestrian plaza will soon get a whole lot of company in blue uniforms.
The NYPD is establishing a new task force of 100 officers to patrol the Bowtie area of Times Square, which include the Broadway Plazas. It is just part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s determination to get a handle on a situation that his administration called “nuisance quality of life issues” by creating a multiagency task force.
“The mayor’s goal is to crack down on particularly aggressive solicitation that oftentimes borders on outright harassment – people harassing people for money,” said de Blasio senior advisor Phil Walzak.
The officers will be assigned to foot posts from 42nd Street to 49th Street and from Seventh Avenue to Broadway – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Times Square is an important piece of real estate in New York City, and we have to pay attention to what is going on there,” said NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill.
O’Neill said the idea is for the same cops to work the same posts every day to get familiar with the people and the territory, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.
Read more at CBS NEW YORK.