Ed Sniadecki, a Whitestone resident for 16 years, attended the 110th Precinct Community Council meeting in Corona on Nov. 10 to tell Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson, commanding officer of the 110th Precinct about the music he has heard for the past six years.
“I’ve made several phone calls to the 109th regarding the music out of the junkyards,” Sniadecki said. “I’ve been hung up on. Every time I call the question I get is well where exactly is it? It keeps happening every weekend, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, sometimes Sunday.”
Manson said his officers are stationed at the Marina, boathouse parking lot and the junkyards every night to patrol the area for the vans equipped with large speakers.
“We’re at the junkyards every single night,” Manson said. “In fact, three nights ago we stayed there all night. We finally got a guy with commercial-grade speakers in the van and 40 people partying.”
Friday night at 1145 pm the 110 Precinct arrested a male for playing VERY loud music out of commercial grade speakers in the park.
— NYPD 110th Precinct (@NYPD110Pct) November 7, 2016
In June, the 110th Precinct arrested a man who was operating a van in Willets Point with 80 speakers installed in the back.
Manson said that the problem is not easy to fix because the culprits are not always at the junkyards. When Manson first became the commanding officer for the 110th Precinct in March 2015, he said the noise was mostly coming from the boathouse parking lot.
“When I took over the precinct, my first Sunday night, I drove through the boathouse parking lot and there were literally 300 people in the boathouse parking lot,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. We cracked down on that and they’re never there anymore. Was there displacement? Yes, they went to the marina and they went to the junkyard.”
Manson said he has received 22 calls in the past 28 days about the noise emanating from the Flushing Meadows Corona Park area, and that even the Mets bullpen had called 911 to complain during their season.
The NYPD has added extra lighting around the park, strips on the ground to discourage drag racing and additional signage. Plain clothes officers also patrol the junkyards and try to blend in with the crowd to try to crack down on any parties.
Manson has also asked the Parks Department to extend patrols until 11 p.m. Parks Department security personnel currently work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Flushing Meadows Corona Park is 25 acres bigger than Central Park,” Manson said. “I’m trying to control that park 24/7 with the people I have. Central Park has its own precinct.”
When police arrest the perpetrators, their cars are impounded. But many times, the cars are released back to them after they pay a fine.
“We don’t release them, the courts release them,” he said. “I wish they could never get [the vehicles] back but I can’t do that.”
The commanding officer promised that his officers would continue to patrol the area every night and added that a plan to tear down half of the junkyards and develop the area would help to mitigate the noise.
“I know it’s a nightmare and I feel bad that you’re getting any noise at all,” he said. “We do the best we can in that park, trust me. We use every single available resource we have.”