City Pools have Cops but No Lifeguards
New York City public pools are open for the summer, but the headlines this season seem to focus more on the documented lifeguard shortage. The problem is affecting swimming and related programming citywide.
We received the following editorial from a reader who frequents the Dry Dock pool on East 10th Street.
I took my family to the dry dock pool on East 10th Street and Avenue D on July 4th. The pool service has been downgraded since last year, when it was an absolute delight.
Specifically the downgrades I noticed are:
- Only Half of the main pool was available to swimmers
- The kiddie pool was closed
- The games (corn hole, oversized connect four, etc) weren’t out
- The staff said that all previous days there was an hour wait to get in
According to the Parks Department Twitter, there is a lifeguard shortage. But the staff that I spoke with said this shortage is because New York State pays more, and so many lifeguards instead take a job with the state.
However, there were no less than two police officers on duty at the pool at any time. I don’t believe there were any officers at the pool last year.
So… the city has money to pay overtime for NYPD officers to be at the pool but not enough to pay a competitive rate for lifeguards?
Due to the national lifeguard shortage, unfortunately we will not be hosting swim programs, including lap swim, senior swim, and Learn to Swim, at our outdoor pools this summer. Outdoor pools will remain open each day for general swim from 11am-3pm and from 4pm–7pm.
— NYC Parks (@NYCParks) June 14, 2022