Police address community issues

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For the past few years, residents have campaigned elected leaders to draft legislation, requiring permits to those who park in the area. In response to the complaint, Steven Palmer, the 1st Precinct’s Deputy Commanding Officer, said that police have worked with hospital officials to mitigate the situation. “We’re doing the best we can with that,” said Palmer. “We’re writing a bunch of tickets over there.”

Gonsalves added that the hospital is in the process of tearing down its parking garage, because of its high costs of maintenance. But she said she was told by hospital officials that a plan is in place to add additional parking spaces to accommodate hospital goers.

In January, the state Department of Transportation built a 1,000-foot fence across the median on Hempstead Turnpike as a safety precaution, just in front of the hospital. At the time, many residents questioned whether the fence was necessary, and fire department officials voiced concerns on how the fence might impact their ability to cross the median during emergencies.

But Gonsaves said that since the fence’s installation, she has not heard any further complaints from anyone.

In all, Gonsalves said she was very pleased with the community forum, and praised the public for asking important questions to police officials. “I think people left there feeling good,” she said. “They know they have the attention of the police department.”

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