NEW YORK – If you were not wearing a mask Sunday at Domino Park there’s a good chance a worker would have asked you to put one on.

You might have even been offered a fresh mask from a police officer.

Gareth from Bushwick says these measures to promote social distancing had him feeling a lot safer on a beautiful Sunday in the park.  

“It’s good to have them around, especially the free face masks, since some people may not have brought theirs, and I appreciate them hanging around and keeping the peace,” he said.

Domino Park by the Williamsburg Bridge and Hudson River Park in Manhattan are the two parks where Mayor Bill de Blasio said the NYPD would be paying close to attention this weekend. They were tasked with limiting the number of people who enter the park to prevent overcrowding.

In addition to those measures, the mayor has announced plans to double the size of a program in which civilians serve as social distancing ambassadors who hand out face coverings and educate the public.  

“We’ve put together a group of 1,000 non-NYPD personnel who’ve been going out already. We’re going to increase that number to 2300 by next weekend,” De Blasio said.

But it’s an approach that’s drawing mixed reaction.

“It’s less intimidating and more individual. I definitely think that would help,” said one Williamsburg resident.

“My personal opinion is if it’s a cop, I’d take it more seriously,” said one Crown Heights resident.

In a statement, however, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said he was glad that city would be enacting the type of changes that he had been calling for.

Changes that include handing out more masks and issuing fewer summonses, while engaging civilian agencies as ambassadors.

Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Manhattan