Orangetown Police continue to receive complaints of noise and vandalism on and near the grounds of Evans Park Elementary School in Pearl River.
"We have stepped up patrols in the are," said Orangetown Detective Lt. James Brown. "We have received complaints about juveniles hanging out at the school after dark. We are trying to do what we can."
The complaints are that large groups of young people, most in their late teens, congregregate in the neighborhood at all hours. They have written profane graffitti, left broken bottles and even vandalized at least one car in the neighborhood.
Brendan Moran, who has lived in the neighborhood for two and a half years, said his pregnant wife was nearly struck by a flying bottle thrown by kids hanging out on the school grounds.
"Whether it was thrown at her intentionally or not, I don't know, but still," Moran said.
Moran provided the board of education with pictures of the graffitti, broken bottles and damage to the 9/11 Memorial on the school grounds.
Brown said no complaint was filed regarding damage to the 9/11 Memorial. He added that complaints like the ones filed by the neighbors at Evans Park Elementary are not uncommon at this time of year.
"We get complaints frequently around the schools, especially in the summer," Brown said. "Kids pick places like that. Whenever the residents call us, we try to move the kids along."
According to the Orangetown Town Code, there are strict restrictions on noise between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., but police will address noise complaints at other times.
"The town ordinance is from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., but it also includes that at any time if the noise is unreasonable," Brown said. "If an officer goes by and feels the noise is unreasonable, even at 7 p.m., he will tell them it is too loud."
Neighbors took their complaints to the Pearl River Board of Education. The board promised to work with police regarding any complaints filed and asked the security they do have at the school to focus more on the issue. The district only has security certain nights of the week, primarily on the weekends.
The building is open for town recreational activities between 9 a.m. and noon on weekdays during the summer. The public is also able to use the playground from dawn to dusk during those months.
Two residents that came to the recent board of education meeting said that they have spoken to parents of young children in the area who refuse to bring them to the playground because they believe it is not safe.
"They go elsewhere, but they shouldn't have to," Moran said.