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Union Head: Long Island Parks, Beaches Need More Police

WANTAGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- About 80 additional cops are needed to patrol Long Island's beaches and parks this summer, the head of a police union says.

More than 20 million people visit the beaches and parks every summer, but there are only 35 parks police officers on Long Island, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

"This is a ridiculously low number considering Civil Service believes that we should have like 112 police officers on Long Island," said Sgt. Manny Vilar, president of the state Police Benevolent Association.

Union Head: Long Island Parks, Beaches Need More Police

On Tuesday, when the temperatures soared into the mid and upper 80s, there was only one parks police officer patrolling Jones Beach.

"We have a police officer with a recruit working all of Jones Beach, Vilar told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera.

Union Head: Long Island Parks, Beaches Need More Police

"You always fear the criminality -- the attempted rape, the pedophile," Vilar said. "But you know what you also have to worry about? The poor guy that had the heart attack. The mother that lost her child. What's the response time?"

A state Parks spokesperson said to assist the police the agency anticipates hiring an additional 105 public safety rangers, and added that New Yorkers should feel confident that the parks and beaches are safe and thoroughly policed.

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