In order to increase visibility, increase response time and foster new community relations, a new 24/7 operational Mobile Police Station from the City of Newburgh Police Department was dispatched and set up at Liberty St. and South St.
City of Newburgh Police Commissioner José Gomérez shared that this new mobile unit has only just begun and was set up on Monday, June 20. Prior to the new station, Gomérez shared that he and Mayor Torrance Harvey, several city council members and other community leaders, had previously walked the beat that would be covered by the mobile station. It was during the walkthrough of the coverage area that the police department and city officials spoke to members of the community about what was going to happen and Gomérez was pleased with the feedback about the initiative.
“We are here for the community. The community members reached out to us and asked for assistance in a number of complaints that they have about the quality of life,” Gomérez said.
Quality of life issues that Gomérez said he and the police department have identified from residents were public urination, public defecation, open containers and loud music. Double and triple parking have also become a concern which led to the installation of barriers along Liberty St., South St. and parts of Gidney Ave. Despite some concerns about not having sufficient parking, Gomérez hopes the barriers and other methods will address the parking issue. With this Mobile Station, residents will now be able to come to the police to address complaints and ask for assistance more rapidly.
“We are here as a response to their [residents] request. We’re not targeting anybody, we are here because the community requested us to be here. We are trying to become the police department that the community wants,” Gomérez said.
“We get a lot of complaints from the people that live and work on this block,” Harvey said. “These complaints have been pouring in for years now. A police presence is here so that we can improve the quality of life on this block.”
Harvey hopes to see block captains and neighborhood associations formed to help in this initiative for the betterment of the quality of life. According to Gomérez, The Mobile Police Station will look to move throughout various neighborhoods and areas in the City of Newburgh once the time here along Liberty St. is complete.
During a walk-through, resident Dante Davis, who was standing on his porch, addressed Gomérez about his concerns on the parking barriers and asked why the police department was set up here along Liberty St. when other parts of the city have raised concerns about public safety. “If the police see that there’s a problem, they should go and address where the problem is at, not cause a problem for everybody,” Davis said.
Davis, who has lived on Liberty St. for the past two decades, shared that his wife sometimes arrives late at night from work and now looking for parking can become difficult and can be unsafe. Similar to the foot patrol on Broadway that has been active for several months now would have been a more ideal presence rather than the barricades and additional station, according to Davis. Bike patrols would have also been ideal as well. Davis said he plans to attend the next city council meeting that will be held on Monday, July 11 at 7 p.m. at City Hall on Broadway to address his additional concerns.
According to a notice from the City of Newburgh website, there will be a 90-day no parking, no stopping and no stopping period, with additional parking restrictions, that will be in effect starting on June 20. The order plans to end on Saturday, September 17. This no-parking order will apply to the north side of South St., which is from 119 South St. to Chambers St., the north side of Gidney Ave., which is from Liberty St. to Chambers St. and from the east side of Liberty St., which is from 285 Liberty to 380 Liberty St. Cars in violation of these no-parking orders will be towed. A site map is available on the city website for residents to review the designated no parking areas.
The City of Newburgh also announced a pop-up BBQ event at the Mobile Station that was to be held on Wednesday, June 29 from 5 - 7 p.m. This event was a collaboration of the police department, the department of public works, the water department, the recreation department and several local businesses and organizations. Residents were encouraged to stop by for food, activities for children and to speak with the officers.