Friday, April 22, 2011

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Welcomes New RIOC Board Chair Darryl Towns With Ride on Tram and Reviews Latest from Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department

New RIOC Board Chair Darryl Towns, RIOC President Torres & CEO Chirois on Roosevelt Island Tram

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Last Friday, the new commissioner of the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal, Darryl Towns, visited Roosevelt Island for his first official tour, but not his first visit.

Commissioner Towns was already familiar with Roosevelt Island because of his involvement with the wheelchair basketball league. Still, it was great to have the opportunity to show him all of our beautiful sites and tell him about the great projects and events we have in development.

Commissioner Towns plans to attend the RIOC Board meetings, so you’ll have an opportunity to meet him. I’m looking forward to working with the commissioner to make Roosevelt Island a better place to live and work on and visit.

Keeping our Island Safe

On Friday, May 13th, RIOC’s Public Safety Department (PSD) will host a Promotion & Commendation Ceremony for the Island’s 37 uniformed Public Safety Officers. The event will mark the conclusion of Police Week, which is observed across the nation to honor law enforcement officials who died in the line of duty during the previous year.

RIOC’s public safety officers work hard every day to ensure the safety and well-being of the Island residents. I hope you can join us at the ceremony to recognize their hard work. The event will be held at the plaza at 591 Main Street at 4:30 PM.

PSD officers are recognized by the NYPD as Special Patrolmen and are all NYS Certified Peace Officers. They receive training when first hired and ongoing training throughout their career, including training in defensive tactics; Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect; CPR and First Aid; Domestic Violence Training and much, much more.

Last year, PSD officers responded to over 7100 calls for service, and filed over 3700 incident reports during their 24 hour a day, 7 days a week operation. The officers respond to the same types of calls that are responded to by the NYPD including, but not limited to, domestic incidents, criminal trespass, vandalism and larcenies. They also are the first responders to fire-related calls, and have even helped residents put out small apartment fires over the years.

In addition to filing Incident Reports, PSD Officers also keep the island safe by enforcing the laws. They have the authority to issue Summonses for Parking Violations, Moving Violations, and Penal Law and CPL Violations. They also possess the authority to process arrests through the NYPD Booking System.

When an NYPD investigation is required, PSD works closely with the NYPD officers to aide them in the investigation. Similarly, PSD works with other law enforcement agencies.

PSD officers, with the assistance of the NYPD, help make Roosevelt Island one of the safest neighborhoods in the city. Between 2009 and 2010, crime decreased by 18 percent. This year, the downward trend is continuing. Between January 1 and April 1 of 2011, there were 10 felonies, compared with 16 during the same period the previous year. Misdemeanors are also down, from 40 in the first 3 months of 2010 to 32 in the first 3 months of this year.

I wanted to share with you some recent examples of the exemplary work conducted by the members of PSD.

Fighting Graffiti:
As you know, we have a graffiti problem on the Island. PSD has been focused on identifying the perpetrators. Recently, through increased surveillance and extra patrols, PSD arrested two individuals who were responsible for over 100 tags on the island. These individuals, who are not Island residents, were rearrested by the NYPD for other tags off Island.

Reducing Burglaries:
PSD arrested a burglar responsible for burglarizing two apartments. In both cases, the apartment doors were left open by the residents. The burglar walked down halls turning door knobs. When he found an unlocked door, he opened it and yelled someone’s name. If the resident answered he apologized and said he had the wrong apartment. If he didn’t get a response, he would steal valuables near the door, including cell phones, iPods, iPads, Kindles and more. Following his arrest, PSD issued a memo to residents reminding them that while the Island is safe, we still need to take certain precautions, including locking our doors, and reporting suspicious incidents to the PSD.

PSD is led by Director Keith Guerra, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD and Greenburgh Police Department. He is a NYS Certified Police Instructor and has received training from the FBI, FEMA, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, and others. Deputy Director Rene Bryan and Captain Estrella Suarez assist Director Guerra in running the department.

PSD has been proactive in providing the Roosevelt Island Community with outreach summits on Crime Prevention, Youth and Gangs. They have also sponsored programs in Bicycle Safety, Car Seat Safety, Halloween Safety and Safety for Seniors. They truly appreciate the community's support and believe in their slogan, "Together we can make a difference."

You can learn more about the PSD by visiting Next time you see a PSD officer, introduce yourself. They look forward to meeting members of the community and getting to know you better. If you have any questions, or want to report and incident, you can always reach PSD at 212-832-4545.
A version of the RIOC President's column also appears on RIOC's web site and the April 23, 2011 Main Street WIRE.

More on the new RIOC Board Chairperson and Commissioner of NY State Homes and Community Renewal Darryl Towns from Capitol Confidential.

The 2010 yearly Public Safety Statistics are here and for the year 2011 thru March here.


Anonymous said...

If a section 8 tenant has enough money to own an iPad or an iPhone I think that person should forfeit his right to live there.

GJV said...

It seems Ms. Torres is establishing a pattern. Her March 25th report was all about RI being "green", and today's report (April 22nd) is all about RI being "safe". Sandwiched in between these two reports was her April 8th report with traditional updates on RI projects and events. I am used to the RIOC president issuing a traditional report on updates and events once every two weeks, but it looks like we are now getting this report once every four weeks.

Gregor said...

It's great Mr. Towns is now the RIOC Board Chairman, and is also already familiar with RI. He will add an important new viewpoint to the Board, which may be helpful in dealing with issues such as the renovation of Main St, renovating and retaining the existing businesses as well as filling empty store-fronts, and the important decisions regarding privatization of buildings.

Looking to the future, another new dimension will be added to RI no matter which university is chosen to establish an outpost here. Even though this will be a NYC project, the university will represent a major addition to RI; for this reason, RIOC would necessarily have some input into the planning/coordination process so that the development is carried out in a mutually beneficial manner. For example, RIOC may want to suggest the university construct a parking facility on campus, with some spots set aside for Southtown residents.

I had no problem with Ms. Torres' report, which highlights aspects of the PSD's responsibilities and achievements and the continuing decline in the crime rate of RI. Nobody can complain about that good news!

Anonymous said...

It always impressed me to read about all the calls for "services" in the PSD reports,but the average is actually only about two a day per officer.
PSD officers have more time than I thought to enforce regulations on the island with regard to traffic, parking etc. and, sometime in future, refrain from jay-walking, making u-turns and double-park themselves.

Anonymous said...

Dear mr/ms 4:15 poster,if one of your biggest concerns is jay-walking,then you my friend have too much time on your hands. Jay-walking,really. Who cares. Do you see PSD writing anybody for jay-walking? Its 2011,no body cares about that

jr said...

i get sec,8 and i own an i pad and an i phone and a new car, and my rent is 1700 per month . so what are you saying .

oldtimer said...

this is not your grand fathers sec8 .this is the new sec, 8 only for us people on roosevelt island . where we live in 4,000 per month apartments and get welfare or work at a low paying job , but i will keep getting what i can,, the hell with you people in south town , too bad if you dont like us people on sec8 i paid taxes all my life .i am sick of seeing all these illegals coming here and getting food stamps, medical case and housing for free, well now its my time to rip off uncle sam ,i love living in a 4,0000 per month apartment, and i dont work,. see if i work and make too much money i lose my sec8 ,.so see its better to sit on my butt and get food stamps,,rent medical care.,when i shop at trade fair i see mexicans with 5 to 6 kids using food stamps,so now i said the hell with working for a living these mexicans got the right you you cant beat them join them ,

Anonymous said...

For PSD to be able to write tickets for jay-walking and parking violations they would have to stop their own colleagues first. They are not enforcing the regulations and not setting a good example themselves.

Really said...

To anonymous, jaywalking along with all the other quality of life issues that the PSD could and should enforce, are for the most part ignored. Apparently they do have the time to enforce them, but then they would have to take off the blinders they wear when they patrol the Island.

Anonymous said...

Ref previous blogger

.....and we are paying for their blinders, too

Anonymous said...

If Jaywalking is the thing you need to complain about, then I'm happy to live in such a good neighborhood.

Jaywalking is not enforced anywhere in NYC. Get a life. People should cross at the crosswalks, but if they don't, they cross at their own risk.

Jaywalking??? Please!!!

Anonymous said...

Not for nothing but if they enforced every single violation in the law books, its not so much of TIME on their hands, but public relations. Would you LIKE public safety in any way if they were to issue a petty jaywalking summonses to you? If you spat on the ground? We have ALL spat on the ground in one way or another in our lives, might we have had a bad cold or clogged throat, whatever. Would you like them to enforce every single driving violation on every vehicle? I know I would never stop a car without a gun as you NEVER KNOW who it is you are stopping. I give them kudos for at least enforcing what they enforce with cars now(driving).

It is bad enough that law enforcement in general gets a bad rap for arresting and enforcing the law for the most part. True, law abiding citizens such as myself do not fear the law man as I go about my business. Do I know every single petty law on the books? No. Do I want to test my knowledge by pumping PSD to enforce such laws and tryig it out on me? NO!.

I am confident that PSD does a lot of warnings and use their discretion accordingly.

According to RIOC/PSD statistical data:

In March of this year, PSD issued 361 parking tickets, 26 moving violations, but petty criminal violations such as spitting and uriniating in public is not posted, but can be read on their monthly blog.

Also, I am pretty sure there is not much going on on this island during the day time hours, other than a lot of deliveries and people going to work.

Statistically, on this island or not on this island, the late evening and late night is the most busiest for criminal activity.

So in other words, it is probably safe to say that the majority of parking tickets are from day time hours, and criminal activity in regards to any arrests and petty crimes are from the afternoon and late night hours.

I can just say they are doing the best they can with the tools they have at their disposal. They are self efficient from what I can see and the only thing I can criticize them for is not making RIOC expanding their manpower.

Only 40?

If you factor in days off, split it between 3 shifts, include vacation, sick, injuries and other manpower downtime, it seems like an average of 4 officers per shift to take care of 12,000 documented residents. That to me is too low.

How about a K9 team for missing people, or sniffing possible dangerous items on this island? We have so many diplomats and other areas like the United Nations and Gracie Mansion a spitball away.

How about letting them take accident reports instead of calling NYPD to do it. That is really annoying and a bit redundant. I checked online and noticed that peace officers are allowed to take any and all police related reports like the NYPD. I also did not know that the Triboro Police are listed as Peace Officers(like psd) and take care of all reports on the bridge. Why must I wait for NYPD to respond to take a report for my damaged window in the motorgate garage? I waited for PSD, now wait an hour or more for NYPD to do the same job? It seems like a giant waste of time, and I have wasted that time in the past.

As a resident who reads and tries to keep up with what is going on in the island, and as well as looking from the outside in, it seems like RIOC and PSD can do a much better job overall.

I am not griping on their enforcement, but at how they deploy and use their personell.

PS: I am a business owner and have a degree in business. It is my nature to critique such things.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt agree more with the poster above!!! I too had trouble with my car in the motorgate. The officer who responded was beyond a nice man.When I asked him if I would be able to get a report number for my insurance,he told me cause PSD doesnt do accident reports.I in turn had to wait to wait 2HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for nypd to show up. And when they did arrive,the officers were so rude and nasty to me.

I couldnt believe it. I was being treated as if i was a burden by nypd!!!

I dont know if Mr.Guerra reads this blog but if he does,please expand what your dept does!!!!!!

When push comes to shove,after this experience,I'd rather deal with PSD the NYPD.

Anonymous said...

Afetr looking into what theabove poster said about TBTA or Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police,I looked into some more. Not only are they peace officers as PSD,but like he said,they handle all events that happen in their territory,including accident reports.

On top of that,they carry firearms,full time,on and off duty. Now I cross the RFK Bridge 5days a week,and not to knock what they do,but tbta for the most part just collect toll money. Once or twice every two weeks I see them pull someone over but the point im getting at is this. Psd seems to do so much then tbta does yet they have no guns. This I dont understand,and dont understand why RIOC and Guerra dont change it. If anything Guerra should be the biggest advocate cause its his dept and his officers lives that are on the line.

skipper said...

I agree with the above posts BUT feel that PSD should at least instruct its employees to adhere to the Island restrictions and not encourage violations (however minor) by setting a very bad example themselves.

Anonymous said...

Well lets not forget that law enforcement is exempt from most if not all petty violations of the law.

Did you know that police-psd are exempt from cell phone use while driving?

Them setting an example is pretty irrevelant as the law says theycandomost of the things a citizen can not do.

Anonymous said...

That's the point. They do not set a good example but flaunt their privileges as much as they can.

Anonymous said...

Flaunt? Really? The second psd writes someone a ticket for jay-walking,that person is going to complain. Then everyone will start complaining and saying that psd has nothing better to do then enforce petty laws. Damned if you do,damned if you dont.

Talking on cell phones while driving? PSD is not allowed to be on the phones while driving. Anyone caught doing so is suspended on the spot. If you do see them doing it,without a doubt it is work related. Work related how you say? Not everything is broadcast over the radio. Certain things are called in,such as details to a job or personal information of a victim. Do you want an officer saying your phone number over the radio?

You are involved in a vehicle accident at the northern tip of the island with injuries.So your saying PSD should have to drive all the way to the turn around to make a u-turn? But if they do,then its "what took them so long"? They know they have to follow the u-turn rule. If you see one happen,chances are they have a damn good reason for it.

"PSD should at least instruct its employees to adhere to the Island restrictions and not encourage violations" So I take it you know the inner workings of psd and have heard them "encourage" there officers to make violations.Even though any violation they are caught doing w/o cause leads to a suspension and thus a days pay lost.But then again psd officers can afford that cause they get paid sooo much.


Unless you know the facts of every suitation,you shouldnt jump to conclusions and assume things. You know what they say when you assume things right?

jr said...

you all need to get a life rira is useless.they need to get a life ,to the woman on the rira this will not replace having a man ,go to the bar have a drink .the rira is taking too much of your life ,no one on this island cares about what the rira has to say , they all need to get a life you all have such boring life

Anonymous said...

Give PSD a freaking break. RIOC estimated the population was about 12,000 in 2007. That was 4 years ago. Its probably at 13000 if not more now. With the summer coming,and the new park opening,tourist,the daily population of this island is most likely going to swell to beyond more the 15,000 on the island at one time.

15,000 people or more!!!!

And how many officer does psd have?
33 total. yes 33 total. Not 33 on each shift. An average of 11 a shift,factor in days off for officers,you get about 7 officers to keep 15,000 safe.

They are doing this without firearms and under the watchful eye of the community,where a cough will net you a complaint.

Stop looking for every wrong thing they do and instead pressure rioc to give psd what they need. More officers firearms and more training. This island is changing people,and you shouldhelp psd keep up with thw changes and stop trying to keep them down.


Anonymous said...

IF factoring in "days off for officers" reduces the number of officers on the job from 11 to 7
you imply they take a lot of days off.Did you check your numbers ?

Anonymous said...

I do not imply they take a lot of days off. But with days off you have to factor in sick days,vaction,personal days.

Reguardless,even if the number of officers per shift is 9 instead of 11,do you imply that having 9 officers for 12-15k people is sufficient coverage?

-Help PSD

Anonymous said...

My response to blogger at 12.27 is Maybe.
Roosevelt Island is very compact
and has limited access.The PSD officers are or will be supported by surveillance cameras and building doormen and can call on NYPD.

Anonymous said...

Yes go ahead call nypd,and then sit and wait. This has already been established. Whats the point of having psd if everyone wants to lean on the nypd and not give the law enforcement dept that is on the island and help.

Some of the resident on this island need to wake up. NYPD does not want to be here,they dont like responding to calls here,they can care less about this island. But yet you people think that they are the best. Do you actually think that if psd wasnt here nypd would post an officer at the bottom of the ramp for traffic?!?!?!? HA yeah right. They dont even want to give you another community police officer. WAKE UP!!!!!

You think that you can just call nypd,complain and think you will see results the next day as you do with psd?

"supported by surveillance cameras and building doormen and can call on NYPD"

Oh goodthen,all our problems are solved. Now whenthere is a riot or a man with a gun,bith which happened 2months ago,psd will only have to send 1 of its 4 officers working that day,call on the westview and island house doorman for backup,then just sit and wait 15mintues for nypd to show up. In the meantime,let the group of 15 guys(one who has a gun)fight. Then when pd finally does arrive,hopefully another psd officer isnt hurt or killed. Then pd can look back,say that nothing happened here and add that to there B.S. stats!!!


Anonymous said...

This is getting rediculous.

Everything I have read so far, they lean on NYPD. I have had nothing but negative experiences with NYPD. As stated previously, when my car was broken into, the PSD officer was nothing more than extremely helpful. He said unfortunently they do not take accident reports. It was a shame I had to wait a long while because according to the dispatcher, my call was not a priority and i simply had to sweat it out for almost 2 hours.

Yes, I could have gone to the precinct, but it was during the time of a mass amount of vehicle break-ins. Sorry that I tried to help them connect a pattern of where and when this break in could have happened.

OH WELL. So I waited.

Why bother having a police agency on this island if all the residents want to do is call 911?.

It doesnt make sense. I am positive that our crime on this isolated rock is not overrun by drug kingpins and evildoers as they see public safety patrolling. I see them go up and down main street on foot and by can numerous times.

I noticed a new nypd officer yesterday and to be honest, he did not smile, nod, or acknowledge my friendly wave to him. He was very impersonal.

I asked around and asked if anyone knew of this young officer, I was told he is fairly new to the 114pct.

His demeanor alone appeared like he doesnt care nir does he want to be here, almost as if he was forced to come here.

Message to nypd; behalf of our residents, we are sorry some of us put a burden to you to put a "real cop" here, as some put it. But please, if you are going to out someone here, let it be someone who has experience and who at least is a little personal. I have yet to see him get out of his car.

Support the guys and gals who work on this islad and out their lives on the line for US all, the residents they see, speak to and listen to on this island.

I cannot say this enough but putting this city officer ob a supposidly STATE RAN island is extremely redundant and a complete waste of resources we have at out our immediate disposal, which is PSD.

Also, I am sure that putting an outside agency officer of this island must be extremely demoralizing to the comradorie of PSD personell.

Sorry for the lengthy response, but everyones simple answer is "call 911", its just a bjg blow to the ones who work here and are TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.


Anonymous said...

The new nypd officer was forced to be here. After Fernandez,pd couldnt get 1 person to een think about coming here. They dont even like coming here on basic patrol yet alone be posted here. This new guy is going to miserable. RIRA got what they wanted

And thank you above poster. At least some people still have some sense and know whats good for the island


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