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Thread: The mounds - 3/5

  1. #1
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    The mounds - 3/5

    Thought I would add my experience to what seems to be a growing list of posts about encounters at the mounds.

    I showed up to the mounds at about 7:30 in the morning and stayed in my truck for a while due to a brief rain shower. I headed up onto the mounds about 8:00. I was snapping off pics for about a half hour and I saw an NYPD van drive by slow but never stop. I continued to take pictures for about 45 mins and got hold of KAZ to come out since the skies were clearing up. After about another 15 mins of photos I saw the same NYPD van approaching again. This time it stopped. I noticed it said "School Safety" on it. The officer came over the wooden rail/fence and started to approach so I decided to come down off the mound. The conversation went something like this:

    Officer: Excuse me, sir
    Me: Good morning.
    Officer: You can't be on school property like this. You can't be up there video taping the planes.
    Me: I'm sorry, I didn't realize that. I'm sorry.
    Officer: Yeah, this is school property.
    Me: You want me to leave?
    Officer: Yes, please.
    Me: Ok. Not a problem.

    I start taking my gear off and put it in the truck and...

    Officer: Where are you from?
    Me: Conneccticut
    Officer: Why are you taking pictures of airplanes?
    Me: I like airplanes. I have ever since I was a kid.
    Officer: Ok.

    The funny thing is that it wasn't just one officer. There were about 4 others that got out of the van. The others were all wearing sweatshirts with NYPD logo on them and they looked like teenagers. I was later told by someone that they (not even the one wearing the uniform) were "real cops".

    I used my better judgement, eventhough I was well within my right to be taking pictures and was in a public area, but just cooperated and left as not to risk a good spot for the hobby.
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  2. #2
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    I don't believe that park in considered School property. It is actually called idlewild field/park
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  3. #3
    glad you didn't get arrested and handled it well...I personally wouldn't volunteer to leave but would if it looked like the situation couldn't be diffused. I think you may have been down in the trenches with Manny, Kaz and Mark at the time but one of the soccer coaches came over to us and actually told us he should join us and that he shoots aviation too. Very nice guy who would have been great to have around. Ohwell, at least we can chalk it up to a casual encounter and leave it at that!
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  4. #4
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.
    If that is still part of the Idlewild preserve it's a NYC park. Not school property. May be time to go have that chat with the school huh Phil? Seems this will only continue.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Interestingly, you were not asked for ID? Hmmm... and they need to be wearing their badges and you have all the rights in the world to jot down their names (from the tags) or if they verbally tell you as well as their shield number. I have never heard of an officer not proudly displaying their badge and name tag.

    When I was a kid, my friends and I would get harassed by detectives all the time. My dad and a few others went to the local precinct and complained. Never happened again. While respect for PD is my number one rule, it must go both ways. For the good of the hobby, if I ever feel harassed or disrespected, a local precinct visit is in order... if for nothing else to be on the record! One incident not, but once they pile up, the record is public and kept around for a while and it will show wehave nothign to hide and can actually be an asset instead of a threat.

    I wonder if living under the flight path is illegal too...

    Also technically if it is a public school, I am a city resident and taxpayer, I should technically be allowed to use the facilities :-)
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    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NIKV69 View Post
    If that is still part of the Idlewild preserve it's a NYC park. Not school property. May be time to go have that chat with the school huh Phil? Seems this will only continue.
    The soccer field should definitely be a part of Idlewild Park, as Eric's mentioned. The first line on the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation confirms it: "Idlewild Park is bounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Springfield Boulevard, 149th Avenue and Brookville Boulevard."

    http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/idl...ighlights/8737

    Soccer-related pages also call it Idlewild Park: http://www.southbronxunited.org/dire....html#idlewild

    If someone has a problem with taking pictures of planes from there, it's kind of ironic that the NYC Parks site has a photo of a plane for Idlewild's page: http://www.nycgovparks.org/photo_gal...size/14409.jpg

    Not saying any of this info should be used to argue over with LEO, but "the more you know".
    Last edited by Cary; 03-07-2011 at 01:15 AM.
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    Senior Member Cary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.
    Well, plane spotting is a crime, therefore using a scanner in conjunction with plane spotting is technically illegal
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  10. #10
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzalu View Post
    When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.
    The law is very antiquated and vague in NY. As the law reads you can't have a scanner installed in any vehicle capable of monitoring police frequencies. So hand held should be ok and if your outside your car you should be within the law.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member RomNYC's Avatar
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    I want to know why there are so many discrepancies in our encounters with the men and women of the law... The law is the law, and the book is the same for everyone, citizens and police forces. I guess some of them just don't read it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil D. View Post
    That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.
    The last thing I wnted to do was have a confrontation and chance being the "out of towner" that ruined a good spot for the hobby.

    I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member NIKV69's Avatar
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    I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.
    Can I get an AMEN!

    You being out of town also probably led this guy to believe he could scare you off with the made up laws as well.
    'My idea of a good picture is one that's in focus and of a famous person doing something unfamous.' Andy Warhol

  14. #14
    Senior Member fk6065's Avatar
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    According to the NYC Tax records the soccer field is part of the park and not NYC Schools.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve1840 View Post
    The last thing I wnted to do was have a confrontation and chance being the "out of towner" that ruined a good spot for the hobby.

    I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.
    I'm glad that ended up working out for you and, I have to say, that was very unselfish of you to have the whole group of us in mind in guiding your actions. While I agree we shouldn't always tuck tail and run if there is the opportunity to potentially educate someone, I believe you showed good judgement in avoiding a confrontation. Because it looks like that's what they were looking for. This doesn't really feel the same as a cop driving up, having a chat, checking the ID's, etc.

    Personally, however, I would have broken out the portfolio and asked who wants to buy a print, everyone gets my card, offer info on how we're actually FREE help, the works. But I don't expect everyone to be like that.

    What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?

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