Parks Enforcement cops in NYC want guns in wake of stabbing rampage, report says

generic, Handgun and Crime Scene Tape, A small handgun laying on yellow crime scene tape against a white background.,Crime Scene, Cordon Tape, Gun, Yellow, Crime, Violence, Weapon, Handgun, White Background, Aiming
L to r: James Fayette, Jennifer Lipps, Ben Loehnen, Deanna Koestel, and Luke Fayette, 18 months, were all victims of a stabbing spree in a New York City park
CBS New York via Facebook

(CBS) NEW YORK - Following a violent stabbing rampage last week that injured five people - including a toddler - in a New York City park, Parks Enforcement Patrol officers are pushing the city to give them guns, reports CBS New York.

The parks officers are able to carry batons, handcuffs and vests, and can even make arrests, but they are at a disadvantage without guns, Parks Enforcement Union Local 983 Vice President Joe Puleo said.

Now, the union is pushing the City Parks and Recreation Department to sign off on arming the nearly 170 officers, saying many times, they are the first on the scene of violent incidents, reports the station.

"If you're not armed, you're unable and ill-equipped to handle crime," Puleo said.

However, the Parks Department argues incidents in the parks make up just a tiny fraction of overall crime. A spokeswoman for the department said the officers focus on quality-of-life issues and leave crime fighting to the New York Police Department, reports the station.

Complete coverage of the New York City park stabbing spree on Crimesider