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Monday, July 15, 2013

Roosevelt Island Public Safety Officer Provides First Aid And Calming Influence To Injured Child - Thank You Officer Potter


Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance reports on a Public Safety Officer who assisted an injured child this past weekend. Mr. Farance sent in the following report last night:
On Saturday afternoon, a bunch of us original Roosevelt Islanders were having a mini reunion at the Meditation Steps. One of the children fell and got a gash on his knee. We didn't know how long it would be before getting treated in the emergency room, so on the way there we stopped at PSD headquarters - hoping they might have first aid to clean the cut. The child was very nervous because he knew he was going to the hospital, but Officer Potter was very calm and helpful with both the mother and the child. The child arrived at the hospital, trying to be a Good Patient. He suffered several stitches.

I saw Officer Potter tonight and thanked him personally for his help. Just thought you, too, would want to know about his good efforts.
We often hear of conflict and tensions between the community and Public Safety Department. It's nice to be able to report on the good job done by Public Safety Officers which too often is not known.

Thank you Officer Potter and thanks Mr. Farance for sharing the story.

UPDATE 11:15 - Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Director Jack McManus replied to Mr. Farance's report:
Thank you for taking the time to send this note. I will recognize the efforts of Officer Potter both privately, and at Roll Call, in front of his peers. Additionally, I will place a copy of your note in Officer Potter's personal folder. Once again, thank you for taking the time to send this note.

52 comments :

jack m. said...

This actually happens a lot,an officer doing a great job. Sadly we almost never hear the good stories of psd,only the bad. Great job P.O. Potter

rilander said...

On the day we moved here in 1981 while the movers were here my daughter took her brother to the park across the street and he went down the slide head first. Needless to say he split his chin open. A PSD officer drove us to NY Hospital where my son got some stitches. That's what I remember about the role of PSD...not the George Zimmerman model installed by the Keith Guerra regime. I hope we can soon return to that paradigm of what our PSD is all about.

NotMyKid said...

Rilander, I was no guerra fan by any means but the enforcement aspect could be just that the community has no respect for psd and they simply have no choice but to arrest and summons people. I will tell you a secret and everyone here a secret. The reason the nypd is respected is because we are taught from day 1 in the academy is this. "never ask more than once". So what did I learn when I hit the streets? If we get a call for a large group on the corner and we showed up and they refused to move, we would lock them all up and take them back to the precinct. Those with a warrant went to jail and those who did not, depending on their demeanor they would get a summons.

My point is sometimes enforcement is absolutely necessary. How many times can you tell people to move verbally? How many times can you summons someone. It is not practical. Sometime the only way they learn is to go to jail for a day or two. Lawfully of course. I am not sugar coating anything and am very transparent and open. I never worked for guerra but I know many officers were upset with his leadership.

jack m. said...

Well I did work under Guerra,and I will tell everyone right now,he never told us to lock everyone up. He always told the officers to use common sense,use your own discretion,and at the end of the day,we are human and can only takeso much from a person. What that ment to me was,if iI ask a person 3 times to move,or simply keep it down,and 3 times he tells me f&#k public safety,then guess what,your under arrest.

Rilander,let me ask you this question. Lets say you live in 580,westview,or island house,near the 591 plaza. Its 1230 am and the innocent "youth" of the island are making all sorts of ruckus front of the deli (579). Now you call Psd to complain aboutthe noise. Yes it's summer but you have to work in the morning. Psd officer responds alone as Psd does. The officer responds and ask the group to keep it down ormove. In response the group says f Psd,f you officer blah blah. Your a punk b,I'll f you up right now,meet me when your off duty.

Rilander,would you rather the officer take action or just walk away and allow the group to continue making all sorts of noise through the night,or have the officer take action? Seriously,think about it. Ive lost count of how many times I had to deal with that same exact scenario.

NotMyKid said...

I have had people wait for my at gristedes after work numerous times. Very uneasy and scary situations. Good points brought up on that. The residents have no clue, I hope this being out in the open is a good learning experience.

Also, I forgot to actually give Mr.Farance kudos for the praise. As a former member, thank you.

YetAnotherRIer said...

And that's something Frank and cohorts would never accept here. They'd rather let the "youth" rule the streets here.

CheshireKitty said...

This is the classic noise complaint situation that keeps getting played out over and over again through the years. Not just here - but everywhere there are kids that want to blow off steam, or students such as in the Village with the hordes of drunken NYU students, or tourists.


A situation like this always has the potential to get ugly. PSOs - unlike NYPD - don't have guns. So the only way they can project power is in groups IMO. A noise complaint at the deli probably should always be responded to by at least 2 or 3 PSOs. I would inform the kids calmly that if they don't cut it out or move on, then one of them is going to be detained. If they still don't stop or disperse, then I'd detain one of them.


Of course, that doesn't mean the problem goes away just like that. Where can these kids go to hang out? Moreover, why is hanging out so crucial for them - don't they have homes, or things they'd rather be doing than congregating on the streets? So many problems are caused by people not being content to just go about their business, pursue peaceful and constructive pursuits.


Detaining a kid is not going the solve the overall problem of why they hang out on that "corner" but it would send a message that noise complaints are going to be taken seriously, and detention is possible if the noise is not kept down or they disperse. In other words, an element of risk is injected into the activity of hanging out.

CheshireKitty said...

Amen Rilander.

CheshireKitty said...

Yet, do we need this? Much of what Not is saying makes sense. Do we need this gratuitous characterization of Frank's beliefs? You're saying Frank and his "cohorts" wouldn't want NYPD on RI, because they want the "youth" to rule the streets? Yet - Frank has stated many times he would prefer to have NYPD on RI - just NYPD, no PSD. We all know it wouldn't be a picnic if NYPD were here - just as Not is describing. Either the PSD has to be upgraded/improved, or, maybe NYPD should replace PSD on RI.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer: You're 100% wrong, it is NotMyKid's approach that I agree with. That is part of the reason I have advocated for NYPD over PSD: NYPD can clear these problems because they do it assertively, whereas PSD does not do it assertively ... and (without starting another long argument) I believe the youth and the community see this as a sign of weakness in PSD, which causes the youth to less respect PSD and "test" PSD more, and for the community to see PSD as less effective. Also, PSD has the wrong doctrine: when an NYPD patrol car arrives and people disperse, it's "problem is corrected", but when a PSD patrol arrives and people disperse, it's "need to hunt them down", which adds to the abuse.



However, I am not recommending that every Idle Youth be locked up because: they need a place to congregate, and they have the right to congregate, as long as it is done peacefully. So making a lot of noise outside the deli at 2 AM is not Peaceful, and booming the car stereo outside of 2-4 RR is not Peaceful, however having a quiet conversation is Peaceful.



YetAnotherRIer, I have been consistent and clear in distinguishing between what is lawful and unlawful. I have stated that PSD should not be harassing or abusing people who behave lawfully.

NotMyKid said...

Frank, when I was there, and worked the most busiest tour the afternoon tour, we only had 4-6 officers total. There is no possible way a community can benefit from only 4 guys on patrol. Does it sound too much on paper? Yes. It sounds insane on paper. In practically, it makes safe sense.

I believe a stronger head count, which in turn will give a stronger presence, will in turn make a safer and more peaceful Roosevelt island.

YetAnotherRIer said...

So, you guys are okay to book folks for a night if they don't move their behinds if asked once?

jack m. said...

Almost all the officers at the dept agree with that. We wanted the training,we wanted to advance the dept,we wanted to bring the dept up to par with other depts. I made plenty of suggestions when I was there as im sure you did to notmykid. All my suggestions fell on deaf ears.

How about this one,did you residents know that when you come across the bridge and even leave the island,that your license plate is being read. Yes,rioc and Psd have plate scanners at the top of the bridge. This system is linked to the nys dmv. Any car that comes across that bridge that is stolen or is red flagged in the system is scanned. Psd has the system in theoffice.

But here is the kicker,15 stolen cars could come across the bridge in a row and psPsd would never know. This is because rioc didn't want to "open a can of worms". If a stolen car came across the bridge,they don't Psd stopping the vehicle,whichi agree with. So that part of the system is disabled. What I'm saying is thatthe dept has some of the right tools in place. It needs the community to help advance it more.

NotMyKid said...

No absolutely not. If they refuse to nove and yoy are pefectly lawful in yourcommand what wouldyou do as a leo? Walk away and give up the sidewalk to the trouble makers or ask them to produce identification for a summons? If he or she is really out of bounds and refuses, he might have to be arrested.

This same thing goes for moving violations. I'm not sure if you drive but your behavior can dictate if the officer will write you a ticket or not.

I had these kids tell me and other pso's suck my you know what we ain't moving. Bets are off at thatpoint.

Do I want to or look forward booking them. No. Do I or we have to. Yes.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Right. And I am glad that it happens this way. And I am sad that it does not here and that there are residents who do not like this kind of tougher approach to law enforcement.

NotMyKid said...

The issue is that the ones who are against enforcement are perps, parents of perps or people who heard a story. These are the ones who create a loud rukkus. I know because I locked some of them up!

Frank Farance said...

jack m, yes I am aware of those capabilities and limitations, Guerra discussed them with me. His position was: it might help with RIOC vehicles and Motorgate cars (if stolen), but the systematic tracking of people/cars in an external database would be a huge can of worms, a privacy issue for many (a position I agree with).

Sam I am said...

rilander, you watch too much tv. you want psd to be security guards, but they're not. they're peace officers. they have worked the same way since before you moved here in 1981. I know, because I was here. whether it was led by guerra, frye, norwood or hetherington, the psd has been pretty much the same. the community has turned their backs on them because of some alleged stories told - which I don't want to bring up again. let's start showing them some love - like this article attempted to do and stop all the negativity. like this piece says, they do lots of good things.

billblass said...

To all you cry babies
If you dont like the island. Move

NotMyKid said...

I will try to find the law tonight. Well that span of control and all sounds great from reading it on paper but in my old precinct we had 100 police officers about 20 sgts and 7 lt's.

billblass said...

Saturday was reuniĆ³n day on the island
All the oldtimers who once lived on the island were back for this one day many men and woman who grew up on the island as kids.they all said they were sad to see how much the island has changed with all this high rent apartments. And all the new upperly upperly people who have Moved onto the island. It doses not have the little town feeling it had when they were growing up on the island. Yes i told them welcome to the new island

CheshireKitty said...

If a car is identified as stolen by the license plate scanner, either PSD/NYPD must stop the vehicle and question the driver - at least ask to see the usual documents (license/ins/reg). If it's not safe for PSD to do so, then NYPD should stop the car and question the driver. The person whose car was stolen wants their vehicle recovered.


I'm not surprised there is a license plate scanner at the bridge - I'm all for it. The City has these scanners at key points throughout the City if I'm not mistaken; they are handy in tracking where getaway cars may flee for example.


I don't think scanning license plates is a violation of privacy. It's the same as a cop noting down license plate numbers in a notebook and manually checking them against a listing of license plates of stolen vehicles; why not use technology to do the same job?

CheshireKitty said...

Not said the NYPD asks once, but the PSD may ask a few times. This weakens the credibility of the PSD - may just add to the likelihood they may be disrespected or not taken seriously. However, PSD, or, certainly, one PSO alone, doesn't have the power to back up his words since he's unarmed. In any event, safety should be paramount - for both sides. I agree that they should be asked only once and informed that one of them will be detained if they don't stop, but that more than one PSO should be assigned the job of moving a group or getting them to quiet down. If they don't stop after being asked once and informed that one of them will be detained if they don't stop, then the PSOs should detain one kid. This will back up the policy, make the PSD more believable/credible in general - it establishes an understandable limit or line.

CheshireKitty said...

Re privacy issue, Montana is now the first State requiring law enforcement to obtain a probable-cause warrant before tracking an individual based on his or her cell phone location information, social networking check-ins, or via a GPS tracking device in a criminal investigation. http://www.aclu.org/blog/technology-and-liberty-national-security/first-nation-montana-requires-warrant-location

NotMyKid said...

The problem is people are not educated in public safetys role in the community. I will revert to my whatthe heck is a public safety?.

CheshireKitty said...

Everything changes, Bill.

CheshireKitty said...

Really? When the average rent for a 1 BR in NYC is now 3K?

billblass said...

No need to worry. When i am elected to rioc. I will bring stop and frist
To the island. I will stop and frist every person who lives in southtown and octagon .and i will have the psd stop the red express bus from octagon every time it comes down main street

CheshireKitty said...

Oh, definitely - there should be more outreach and clarification of standards/limits/what have you such as when does one person's right to enjoyment of loud music for example start impinging on another's right to quiet enjoyment of their apartment. Community meetings on an ongoing basis would be a great idea - let's hope rancor can be put aside so that residents and PSD can sit down together to constructively discuss public safety.

billblass said...

These people who are crying are the ones who can afford to pay it these are the new people

NotMyKid said...

I agree. Here's why I outlined my suggestion for just a simple name change of course with added training, call it Roosevelt island police.

Do you really need to clarify POLICE? No. It's a given that authority is had and will be enforced.

Folks, I am giving really simple but fundamental changes. I do not think this will happen over night but most of these things need to be done for the sake of the community which is primary and for psd, which will come secondary. Here is where my mutual respect theory works. A happy functioning department will in turn make a very happy community, overall, as we know not everyone can be satisfied no matter what you do.

Here's another secret. Shh, don't tell anyone this but PSD gets no money from any summonses issued. This is why psd costs more than it should to operate. Psd gets no added funds from enforcement. We in the nypd obviously do get money, we also get a hell of a lot of money from asset forfeiture we perform every day from drug dealers. We seize their bank accounts, cars and property. Psd gets nothing.

Possible psd director and the board and president can strike a deal, any kind of deal for added funding.

jack m. said...

I agree. Do you guys and ladies know that at both hospitals,colar and Goldwater have police. Literally called Hospital Police. Unarmed and do almost absolutely nothing. When I worked there,they would occasionally call Psd for help. They are unarmed as well. One time hospital police caught a patient with a bunge of heroin in the hospital. Psd had to help them with the arrest cause they had no idea what to do. My point being,give the department an image makeover. Change it to Roosevelt island police department,change the color scheme on the vehicles,a simple black and white with police on the side would be nice,get rid of the short story that officers have written on there backs. NONE of the officers like the back patches. That was a futile attempt to try and give the dept a tactical look which I think failed. Any way,these very simple changes would go a long way. Help get rid of the Psd that people remember. Help everyone move past the old Psd.

Hopefully if Chief Magmanus stays as the permanent chief,he would implement some of these changes. I know that usually when a new boss takes over,they like to do something that changes the department look. Something to put a personal mark on the dept.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: The reason why RIOC doesn't get any money back is because it would require an agreement between the City and RIOC on the revenue stream (which might mean that the money actually goes back to a different State agency: ESDC), and the City might start charging us (RIOC) for AVAC carting, and then we get into this whole nitpicking routine over low level stuff.

I've spoken to RIOC about this before, they really aren't interested in the nitpicking. Given last year's PSD stats, with 5272 parking violations, let's say they are $35 each, that would be about $185K ... not a significant amount in RIOC's $21 million budget, or PSD's $2.9 million budget to be worth all the hassle given that the money flows might be NEGATIVE after all the adjustments.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: Guerra and I tried at the 2009 Town Hall meeting, the first part of it was devoted to explaining with PSD is, what they do, and how to interact with PSD (e.g., with courtesy and respect, which usually produces better outcomes). Overall, the meeting was positive and helpful for PSD's relationship to the community. However, these kinds of Town Hall educational meetings need to be done more regularly than once every four years. I suggested to Guerra to have meetings to reinforce this idea.


The other two (the one with Bryan wearing a wig and pretending he was a woman; and the tasers) did not go so well. On the tasers one, the poster was a very ominous-looking taser gun, and the community had reacted poorly. My sense was: if we had regular communication and dialogue, then there might have been a better base/basis for having an extended discussion on tasers. Or maybe there were no good outcomes from the taser discussion. But Guerra's worsening relationship with the community did not help. I was not the RIRA President at the time, Matt Katz was, and his relationship to Guerra that was more distant (than Guerra and me).


Anyway, my present position is: PSD should have monthly community meetings, just like precincts do, and annual Town Hall meetings (just like the one in 2009) to educate the community on PSD and its relationship.

scrozball said...

Farance talk about nitpicking. 5272parking violatiojs. How about 5300 parking violations.

Frank Farance said...

scrozball: I'm just taking the number from the PSD December 2012 Year-To-Date report. What's your point?

scrozball said...

Farance The point is that you constantly nitpick in all your comments.

NotMyKid said...

I don't believe it goes elsewhere. This is why a contractual agreement should be made. I'm sure you know better than I that rioc will make up a song and dance so the subject can be dropped. Those extra funds can go towards excellent psd and community workshops as well as much needed training.

I know you brought up in your previous comment that psd would be too expensive to be ran like a real dept. Yes. It will be initially. The operating cost should only fluctuat very minimally the year or two after initial testing and training phases are completed. Agreed?.

If you think added training is costly, yes if aquired from private vendors. I know westchester county, nypd and a host of other agencies are willing and were willing to train for free. In the unit I am in now, we train every small or large agency in ny, nj, ct and pa.

The resources are out there but sadly a lot of this training pertains to tactics and firearms, which psd do not carry and therefo the training is not useful.

Trust me frank, this can work.

Look at the bright side, you know the ones who are no psych fit will not have a gun. Also if one gets in trouble the director can modify an officer to ride a desk until its figured out. How can they modify an officer now? Take his stick away?.

scrozball said...

Rush back to the Trellis. They improved the seating by putting fresh tapes on the seating.

scrozball said...

I`m on this island 19 months and recently got involved with the blog. Is there anyone else who spends more time with arguments that go nowhere then this preson Farance.

Frank Farance said...

scrozball, I don't understand what your issue is: if the document says 5272, and I wrote 5272, then what is wrong?

Frank Farance said...

scrozball, let's see: you don't like nitpicking, but then you're a hypocrite because you then go nitpicking (as you claim), when in fact the number I gave was right, and then you complain you don't like arguments like this ... a nowhere argument that you just created. In other words, your suggestion that I use a *less accurate* number was just a nowhere argument, right? So stop being a hypocrite, assuming you have a consistent (non-hypocritical) position on your own hypocrisy. :-)

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid, let me frame this positively: PSD doesn't need a ticket quota because it has no financial effect (no revenues). Thus, PSD does (say) parking tickets because of the need for parking enforcement: fair/shared access to the very limited parking resources. Unlike elsewhere, we don't need a ticketing blitz to generate revenue. Even if we had NYPD outsourcing. And ditto for arrests, if we had NYPD outsourcing we wouldn't need an arrest quota because (unlike elsewhere) our ground leases have a public safety fee, so the staffing level for PSD is based upon budget (paid by our rents/maintenance), not like elsewhere, which is based upon crime stats/levels.

Over the years, I've asked RIOC execs and PSD Brass about parking tickets and getting the revenue. It's a non-starter. Really, it's about opening up a can of worms that, in the end, might not be a net positive cashflow for RIOC.

What would really help is to understand why we have such poor utilization of resources for PSD, e.g., 43% of the officers not on patrol. (Note: I had a typo in an earlier post, which I've corrected. I said according to Guerra "4-6" officers were available for patrol on each shift, I looked at my notes, he said "4-5" officers. I see you've quoted me on "4-6", sorry for the glitch, it was "4-5".)

So if we reduced the PSD spending by 43% (getting rid of the waste), we'd have about $1.3 million (annually) available for other purposes, i.e., about SEVEN TIMES what the parking ticket revenue might be - you and I see the same benefit, but I believe the revenues should come from better efficiencies rather than parking tickets. My approach with NYPD outsourcing addresses that: instead of $2.9 million, we'd spend $1.7 million in NYPD for the same level of patrol, and with other NYPD advantages, too. Maybe that extra money could be spent on a variety of "youth" services. I'm thinking of "youth" in the range of 12-29 years old, just like the RI Softball League I ran in the 1990's was for "youth" 18-35 years old.

Whether or not 43% of the PSD budget can be trimmed is an area for study, but the point is: the presently huge PSD inefficiency is the low-hanging fruit for budgetary purposes or additional training availability (as you point out).


Now you have some good suggestions and points, but I think it really comes down to this:


- Do we believe guns are part of the necessary equipment for PSD? (These days, I'm guessing the answer is: Yes. I'm guessing you agree with me.)


- How are we going to get more law enforcement patrolling with guns? Right now, it can only be NYPD (or maybe State Police).


- Will the community support a PSD with guns? I'm guessing: No.


- If the PSD is renamed to (say) Roosevelt Island Police Department, will the community support such an entity with guns? If it's the same officers with a different organization name, I'm guessing the community sees through that and the answer is: No. (I agree with you that Police might get more respect over time, but that doesn't address the needs for now through the next 2-3 years.)


- Will there be some PSD officers that have guns, but others not? Not sure if this works well, I'm willing to hear ideas pro and con.


- Lastly, apparently McManus has assigned one of the officers (Torrens) to desk duty. It's not about taking away the stick, it's about taking away the interaction and visibility in the patrols, e.g., less friction with the community until Torrens's issues are resolved. My sense is: the effect of PSD desk duty is similar as NYPD, it seems like a good move for McManus.

CheshireKitty said...

You are the "new" carbo aren't you.

CheshireKitty said...

Scroz - If he was going to round the number up to make it "easier to understand", which is what you're suggesting, then he would have to say "roughly 5300". But he's not giving approximate numbers elsewhere - it's not that sort of a "pablum-ized" or simplified commentary.

scrozball said...

CheshireKitty Who asked you anyway? If Farance gave the right amount of tickets then he should have given the right amount of cash collected on the tickets. Just doing a little nitpicking on my own. Try taking a relaxing pill.

CheshireKitty said...

Oh, you mean the exact amount collected? Frank said about the amount collected: "...let's say they are $35 each, that would be about $185K ..."


So what you are saying is that if he estimated the amount collected, he should have rounded up the number of tickets?


Why is this an issue, scroz?


The amount collected may not be a sum that is publicly available, or broken out specifically for tickets issued on RI. Many who are issued tickets fight them in court and win. So maybe the exact amount collected cannot be determined, but an exact amount of tickets written can.


You are doing some nitpicking on your own.


Relaxing pill! Never! For kitties, the "drug of choice" is - catnip..! This is a good way for Cheshire kitty to vanish into a relaxed state.

NotMyKid said...

I wouldn't say many win, but some do win to pay nothing. The vast majority who fight it end up getting the ticket pled down to a cheaper fine. Not that much but I would take some off than nothing off.

scrozball said...

CheshireKitty Well why is my remark to Farance an issue with you? I said I was nitpicking. So butt out and have bowl of milk.

CheshireKitty said...

Agreed; I overstated it. Not many, but some, will fight them in court, and of that group, some will win, others may plead down to a cheaper fine. Because of the uncertainty regarding the amount collected, the number (amount collected) can only be estimated.

CheshireKitty said...

Article on ACLU study of licence plate reader (LPR) surveillance
http://rt.com/usa/aclu-license-plate-surveillance-216/

CheshireKitty said...

A discussion on whether LPRs (license plate readers) prevent crime or create privacy abuses http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/nation/july-dec13/plates_08-12.html

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