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Photo courtesy of the Office of Assemblyman Ron Kim
Photo courtesy of the Office of Assemblyman Ron Kim

Two Queens lawmakers are urging parents to download an app that is meant to keep increase the safety of city parks and playgrounds.

Assemblyman Ron Kim and State Senator Jose Peralta were joined by several parents at Northern Playground in Jackson Heights on Aug. 10 to discuss ParentPatrol, an app that allows users to report and record suspicious activity in an effort to safeguard the parks.

“Nearly a year ago, I began working on introducing a ParentPatrol, a free app for parents and caretakers to crowdsource 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.”

With ParentPatrol, users can report suspicious activity or inappropriate incidents to local leaders and residents. Inside the app, users can record video of suspicious activity, make reports of incidents that they’ve seen, and call a hotline to speak to someone about the inappropriate behavior they’ve witnessed.

Additionally, users can include information such as the GPS-tracked location where it occurred to reports. Any reports received from the app will be used to notify crucial local entities such as the districts’ elected officials, community boards, Parks Department, and local police precincts.

“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. This free resource will permit users to report any inappropriate behavior or potentially dangerous instances to the local authorities,” Peralta said. “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.”

A recent update to the app allows users to send or receive notification or alerts of recent incidents nearby. An interactive map is also available to show where users have reported incidents to other users.

“I am proud to announce that we’ve now hit a new milestone, with nearly 2,200 downloads of the app and over 200 incident reports logged,” said Assemblymember Kim. “The constructive feedback we’ve received convinces me that ParentPatrol is ready for even greater implementation across our city.”

For more information, visit www.parentpatrol.org

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