Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra Aware Of Public Unrest From Brutality Allegations - Says No Maximum Enforcement Policy And Welcomes Civilian Complaint Review Board
Following brutality allegations brought against the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) unanimously voted to support a community demonstration to "address Public Safety Concerns". The rally will take place at noon tomorrow in the Good Shepherd Plaza (flyer for event is below).
Today, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra
sends the following message to the Roosevelt Island community.
I am aware of the community unrest regarding an incident which recently occurred on the island. While I am not at liberty to discuss the details of the particular case, due to pending litigation, I do want you to know that I am listening to you, and I want to reassure you that this office does not tolerate excessive use of force nor constitutional rights violations that put members of the public at risk.Here's the flyer for Roosevelt Island community rally seeking "An Accountable Public Safety Department"
The mission of the Public Safety Department is to reduce crime and fear, promote public safety and improve the quality of life for all those who live, work or visit this wonderful island. Sometimes that vision involves finding the median between serving those who call upon us, and the enforcement on those we encounter from those calls for service. Over the last 5 years, we have been able to decrease crime on the island without a "Zero Tolerance" or "Maximum Enforcement" initiative, as some have purported. This decrease has been confirmed by the Commanding Officer of the 114th Pct., who particularly noted that Index Crimes on Roosevelt Island were down by 7 from the prior year. Please note that this is extremely challenging in an already low crime area. Our Community Outreach initiatives of various informational Summits and Safety Days have enabled us to provide added services. Our Community Basketball Games and the Young Adult Program at Sportspark have provided a better connection between our agency and the young adults in the neighborhood. Additionally, we have been able to have approximately 900 Bicycle helmets and 10 Car Seats donated to the community to provide safety for not only the children but for all residents on the island. I realize that there is still more work to be done.
One of the community’s concerns is the establishment of a Civilian Complaint Review Board. The current procedure has been in place long before I arrived. I am willing to work with you and the RIOC Board concerning this. Assemblyman Micah Kellner and I have spoken in the past about his proposed legislation and I have never been opposed to his suggestion. In fact, I welcomed it. Although this will not be an easy process, I believe that if we work together on this issue, we can make a difference.
As for the particular case in question, all I can do is ask for your patience in allowing the due process to take its course. Please reserve your final judgment until that time. I have, in the past, and will continue to work with the community to form a better understanding and working relationship between PSD and the community it serves.
Keith Guerra, Director
Public Safety Department