State parks police announced Tuesday that nearly 80 summonses have been issued to trespassers in and around Kings Park Psychiatric Center, which officials credited to increased patrol efforts over the past month and a half.
Police stepped up patrols before Halloween at the shuttered center in Nissequogue River State Park, when the grounds typically see more interest from people wanting to explore.
On Oct. 29, parks police and members of the state environmental conservation police and Town of Smithtown park rangers responded to complaints of groups of people using the park illegally as an off-road vehicle course. A total of 31 summonses were issued and 11 vehicles were impounded, police said.
On Nov. 18, an additional 10 summonses were issued and two vehicles were impounded. Two people were arrested, one for possession of a stolen vehicle and the other for driving with suspended license.
Trespassers also received 37 summonses on Nov. 19 after police conducted patrols around the vacant buildings on the property. Police said 29 of the summonses were for entering an area closed to the public, six for disorderly conduct and two for vehicle, traffic and parking violations.
The defunct institution has become a point of controversy among Kings Park residents, who argue parks police aren’t doing enough to keep out vandals and disruptive trespassers. Neighbors told Newsday in October that young people were parking on neighborhood streets, leaving behind trash and entering the grounds through holes in the fence.
Three women who appeared suicidal were rescued from the top of a 13-story building on Nov. 11.
Police said Tuesday that efforts to tear down the center were in progress and demolition and restoration of the buildings at Kings Park was expected to be completed by April.
A $6.7 million project at Nissequogue River State Park will result in the demolition of seven buildings and the stabilization of two others for future use, plus building a picnic area, pavilion, multiuse recreational fields and trails.