Public Park Safety

The parks in New York are one of the city's finest assets. They are a great place to go and relax. The tranquility of the parks is rarely disturbed by criminal acts, but the police department recommends taking these simple precautions to ensure your safety. 

  • Do not take shortcuts or dirt paths through wooded areas. Stay on well-lit, populated pathways.
  • Remember there is safety in numbers. Always walk or run with a friend. Look into joining a local community running club.
  • Remain alert and aware at all times. Don't wear headphones.
  • Carry your wallet in the side pants pockets or inside jacket pocket. Never carry a wallet in the rear pants pocket.
  • Carry pocketbooks in the bend of the elbow, close to the body. If there is a long strap, wrap it around the bag. If someone should attempt to snatch your purse, let it go.
  • Don't wear excessive amounts of jewelry or carry large amounts of cash. Divide your money between pockets and handbags.
  • Familiarize yourself with your local park. Know the locations of public phones and police call boxes.
  • Should someone attempt to verbally harass you, just keeping on walking. Responding to this kind of behavior could escalate the situation.
  • Know the locations of stores or businesses which may be open in the vicinity of the park. These locations may be a safe place to go should you feel threatened.
  • Always carry some form of identification, even when running. A label in your clothing will be sufficient if you are not carrying a wallet or handbag. Name and address labels should always be sewn inside the clothing of your children.
  • Closely supervise children as they play in the park. Instruct them on how to respond to strangers.
  • Report suspicious persons or activities to the local precinct. Remember to dial 911 should you require emergency police or medical service.

Should you become the victim of a crime in a park or anywhere, remember:

  • Remain as calm as possible. Don't make any quick or sudden movements. Many times the criminal is as nervous as you.
  • Don't be a hero. No amount of money or property is worth your life.
  • Be observant. Try to remember as much as possible about the criminal: sex, age, race, clothing, height, weight, etc.
  • Call 911 immediately after the incident. Follow the instructions of the 911 operator and provide all the necessary information.