GREENWICH VILLAGE — As summer approaches, police are gearing up for a crackdown on the homeless and those who stay in Washington Square Park after hours, cops warned Wednesday.
Greenwich Village police will work with the city Parks Department this summer to monitor the park and issue tickets to anyone found violating its official midnight to 6 a.m. closure, the commanding officer of the Sixth Precinct, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo, said at a community meeting Wednesday.
"The summer is the summer and we're going to see more things happening in the park," he said. "People who are caught trespassing in the park will be issued summonses and removed."
Locals complain that homeless people in Washington Square Park — which was the freewheeling center of the '60s and '70s folk scene — aggressively panhandle, drink alcohol in public and fight, police said.
Last summer was marked by fights between "local homeless" and those who travel to New York seasonally, del Pozo said.
Small-time drug dealers, who sometimes scam would-be pot smokers by selling them oregano and black tea, are also a known problem in the park.
Parks Enforcement Patrol officers can issue summonses to anyone who violates park rules, a spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate on the agency's summer strategy.