RIRA Calls For Removal Of Top Management At Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department And Plans February 16 Public Demonstration Against Brutality - Requests Governor Cuomo Investigate And Provide Oversight For Public Safety Department
Roosevelt Island policing and Public Safety issues were the subject of February 6 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council meeting. As previously reported, RIRA's Public Session portion of the meeting included a presentation by NYPD 114 Precinct (which covers Roosevelt Island) Commander Deputy Inspector Stephen Cirabisi, a RIRA commendation award for NYPD Officer Dino Sitaris and a report from Manhattan District Attorney Community Affairs Officer Linda Janneh-Jones on the Trespass Affidavit Program as well as questions from residents. Here's video of that portion of the RIRA meeting.
Following the Public Session, the RIRA Common Council unanimously approved resolutions calling for the removal of top management at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department and and a February 16 public demonstration to address Public Safety Concerns.
Here are the resolutions:
Whereas, the residents of RI feel that PSD uses excessive force.
- Whereas, the residents disagree with the "maximum enforcement" and "zero tolerance" policies used under Director Guerra and his leadership.
- Whereas the residents feel that a hostile, abusive, and intimidating atmosphere is created by the Public Safety Department, as directed by its leadership.
- Whereas, the RIRA Public Safety Committee has expressed these concerns and made suggestions for reform for many years
- Whereas there has been virtually no improvement in Public Safety's behavior or its relationship to the community.
- Whereas Director Guerra does not objectively review or investigate the complaints made against his officers.
- Whereas the situation has been worsening significantly in the past year
- Therefore, RIRA requests RIOC terminate the services of Director Guerra, Deputy Director Bryan, Lieutenant Yee, and other top PSD leadership as RIOC may deem necessary.
Resolution #2More information on the February 16 Public Safety Demonstration
The Public Safety Committee, forwards to the RIRA Common Council, a request that the RIRA Common Council endorse, sponsor and promotes a peaceful demonstration, scheduled for February 16, 2013, to be held in the Good Shepherd Plaza, to address Public Safety Concerns.
available at the Roosevelt Island Citizens Blotter Facebook Page.
Also, unanimously approved by the RIRA Common Council were these letters to NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo and NY State Senator Jose Serrano. An excerpt from the introduction of both letters:
As members of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association’s (RIRA) Public Safety Committee it is our responsibility to explore reports and patterns of law enforcement misconduct, when brought to our attention by residents of our community. We consider this the most important aspect of the Committee's mission.Here's the full text of RIRA letters to Governor Cuomo and State Senator Serrano and video of the RIRA discussion moderated by RIRA Public Safety Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem.
There is widespread awareness by Island residents of inappropriate, aggressive and unacceptable behavior on the part of various officers under the command of the Director of Public Safety Keith Guerra and his predecessors. These repeated occurrences represent a pattern and a culture of abuse and incompetence that is completely intolerable and even illegal. These accounts have accelerated to a point where parents are afraid when their children are outside, because they fear the consequences of their interaction with Public Safety. Teenagers, dentists, pacifists, journalists, and parents at a little league game have witnessed this aggressive behavior....
and Part 2 (a few moments between Parts 1 and 2 are missing as I changed cameras when battery power died).
RIOC has provided no statement or comment on these matters. There is litigation pending in the Jones incident.
UPDATE 2/12 - Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano issued this statement regarding the Jones incident and Roosevelt Island Public Safety issues:
Roosevelt Island residents have approached my office with concerns about an incident allegedly involving Anthony Jones and the actions of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department. These allegations are troubling, however I believe that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation acted appropriately in referring the incident to the State Inspector General for thorough review. It is important that the Inspector General be given the opportunity to independently investigate these allegations and make an appropriate determination. As the State Senator representing Roosevelt Island, I will continue to support legislative reforms to ensure there is sufficient oversight of those empowered to protect the public's safety and general welfare. I believe the legislation introduced by Assemblyman Kellner to create a State Civilian Complaint Review Board to investigate any alleged misconduct by state police forces, like Roosevelt Island Public Safety, is an important step towards inspiring public confidence.