Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Roosevelt Island Law Enforcement Issues, Problems And Solutions To Be Addressed By New Non-RIRA Residents Committee, If You Want To Be Involved Come To First Meeting Tonight

Roosevelt Island activist Frank Farance disagrees with certain actions, policies and procedures of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Public Safety Committee (PSC). The PSC invited Mr Farance to form a separate committee to address the issues he believes are important. Mr. Farance has done so and reports:

I am forming a committee of community volunteers (residents, merchants, organizations, etc.) to address law enforcement issues on Roosevelt Island. This would involve a broad spectrum of issues, including Public Safety, RIOC, NYPD, NY District Attorney's Office, and other entities. Issue would include policy, procedures, incidents, and so on. I've already spoken to RIOC PSD Interim Director McManus and he is interested in hearing our views.

By necessity, this committee will not be a RIRA committee. With RIRA President Ellen Polivy's perspective that all motions require "ratification" by the Common Council, RIRA committees will be delayed in their responses and, possibly, prohibited in their responses. In my opinion, much of problem relates to a variety of conflicts of interests (such as Ms. Polivy and Ms. Strong-Shinozaki, who have spent much effort protecting their husbands on the RIOC board), special interests, and other interests (such as committee members and family having jobs at RIOC/PSD).

Really, the community deserves much better. At the last RIRA PSC meeting, the chair and her husband went overboard in flawed procedures, bias, and non-neutrality to advocate their own positions ... a nice display for newcomers on why this needs to be outside of RIRA.

Our first meeting will be Wednesday August 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM in the 555 Main (Island House) Community Room. I look forward to your participation in an environment that, hopefully, will be more productive. If you have suggestions for issues/etc., please contact me directly.

Lastly, I note that I still remain a member of the RIRA PSC and will continue to participate.


Frank Farance said...

If you have suggestions/issues on the topic of law enforcement, please bring them to the meeting tonight. I'd like to have a consolidated list. I'd like to spend little time on administrative stuff, and more time on working the suggestions/issues.

NotMyKid, YetAnotherRIer: You're welcome to attend and/or forward suggestions/issues (via Rick), or post them here.

NotMyKid said...

I don't think I can make it. I will be still stuck at work. If I can make it.. I will.

westviewgirl said...

cannot make the meeting, but would love for you to light a fire under RIRA and RIOC about cleaning, painting and updating the dressing rooms and showers at the pool at sportspark. Shame they spent all that money on upgrading the pool, yet neglected the dressing rooms and showers. it could be really nice. Thanks for your help and concern about the island, oh, maybe ask Ms Pollara when will the FF Park make some donations from their fund raisers to the school, library and elderly and handicapped here on the island. Maybe they do already, but we now have to share the island with a few more thousand a week here and some of their financial gain would help us with life on the island .

Sam I am said...

I think this is a great idea. I was wondering when someone would bring real issues to light. The PSC headed by Mr. & Mrs. Feely try to say we have no gang issues on the island, yet on Sunday, the NYPD arrested about 15 people at Firefighter's field. I was walking my dog and saw a group of males congregating together. Apparently, they were being watched by some plain-clothes officers, who moved in and took them all away.

NotMyKid said...

Perhaps you misread. This is to improve law enforcement, not paint and showers.

NotMyKid said...

Believe me when I tell you there is a more than just a few gang members on the island. Perhaps they are not Blood/Crip/Latin King levels, they are growing on and off island. The first set was from Eastwood.

OldRossie said...

Any feedback from this meeting?

CheshireKitty said...

I attended the meeting, which was refreshingly free of rancor etc. Key topic at this point is how PS handles residents who may be congregating on the street in order to socialize: If the groups are quietly congregating and not disturbing residents, should they be left undisturbed, or is quietly gathering on the street a form of trespassing? Also, businesses may not want these groups outside their store-fronts even if they are not making much noise because they may be hampering access to the business to some extent. So, at what point does PS disperse the groups, and how should PS go about doing it? Also, is something missing on RI in that youths are resorting to the street to congregate. Why is there no place for them to go? It was noted that the Youth Center is closed over the summer - which is to me at least unbelievable.

Frank Farance said...

OldRossie: We had a successful meeting, it lasted about 90 minutes. It included about a dozen participants: four who had provided comments but who could not attend in person, and 8 others who attended in person, including Ron Schuppert (former NYPD officer, and former RIRA VP and RIRA Public Safety Committee Chair).

We focused upon a small number of items and hope to make progress by the next meeting (August 21). We felt the focus should be on the whole community, including residents, merchants, and organizations; and we were interested in better policy, including better oversight -- definitely different from RIRA PSC. Also, RIRA PSC is focused upon removing/firing officers Bryan, Suarez, Yee, Hernandez, and Torrens ... we're not going to focus on that, we feel we should be addressing better law enforcement, which touches upon PSD, RIOC, NYPD, NY DA's office, etc. - again all different from RIRA PSC.

At the next meeting we hope to have some initial feedback from merchants and organizations, and some suggestions from former PSD officers and NYPD officers. We are looking to understand and address the level/kind of patrolling on the Island.

Lastly, we plan on addressing an issue on congregation/noise at night (see letter in WIRE on July 5 early morning crowds). Our approach is three-pronged:

(1) If there is someone or a group of people disturbing the peace, then this condition needs to be corrected promptly. We didn't say either way on how it was corrected (shooing away, warnings, summonses, arrests, etc.), we agreed that it needed to be corrected promptly.

(2) If someone or a group of people are congregating peacefully and legally, they should be allowed to do so without retribution.

(3) There needs to be a social policy component to provide places to congregate. We noted that simply opening the Youth Center in the evening is not a solution, some kind of additional programming (at Youth Center, Sportspark, somewhere else, some combination) is necessary.

So instead of just saying: Add More Law Enforcement To Deal With The Noise, or Don't Arrest Kids Who Are Doing Nothing Wrong, or Just Give The Kids A Place To Go At Night, we are looking at a three-pronged approach.

We will have a brain-storming session at the next meeting, and we will review this with PSD Interim Director McManus.

Feel free to make comments/suggestions.

NotMyKid said...

Honestly, the youth center will give little recourse. Seriously speaking. This only gives the bad youth a place to corrupt the good youth or the youth on a fence. This is also a place to share tactics and a place to initiate more members. Every kid that is currently in bgm or associates with bgm was in the youth center at one point or another. I know because they were kids when I was therre, now they grown up to be losers.

A child awareness seemingly should be enacted. I know mr.gerra had a gang summit, but perhaps using the term gang turns away most parents as they don't believe their child is in some sort of a gang.

Perhaps it should have been or can be called child awareness.

The youth officer should be PROACTIVE in psd. He or she should hold youth functions. Perhaps take some kids to six flags, water parks, the movies. Similar to the explorer programs with nypd.

Simply just having a place open does very little if ample supervision is not present. Extra supervision requires extra money, so that's a fat chance.

Simply having an open door somewhere does very little. I think the parents should be kept apprised of their kids actions.

If I tell little tommy to move along with his friends, and he is giving me a hard time, well I use to take little tommy to his parents and explain what he did wrong. If they failed to fix tommy and his actions, then I have no further choice but to take enforcement action against him.

I use to take kids home all the time in lieu of arrest. Some made it out ok so far, others are still spiraling down the tubes.

Blaming the police for the actions of the children, some of who are young adults does nothing. Proactive law enforcement and parent strategies need to be put in place. Perhaps appoint two youth officers? One during the mid day and the other at the late evenings. Make them proactive. Give them a plan on what they need to do and make sure they do it. Of course that would be the job os mr.mcmanus.

Sometimes the three pronged strategy looks good on paper but sucks in real life.

I believe if psd wore a body camera for only 30 days, and you see their job from their POV, you will understand why it's difficult to execute some plans efficiently.

AllMy Children said...

The Youth Center is closed for Summer because they are renovating without money but they still operate a Summer Camp for over 150 kids, from 8AM till 6PM. I was told they have hired over 15 resident young adults to work this summer.

AllMy Children said...

The Youth Center services every child on this island in some capacity at least once from the age of 5 to our oldest participant last year of 67 so your statements are to make what point.

NotMyKid said...

That simply having 4 walls with a door is not enough. I don't understand why that was difficult to understand.

You need plenty of monitors, activities and supervision.

I don't know if you were ever a teenager, but I know I was. I was a sneaky guy. So we're all of my other friends. Not saying in a bad way but we got away with plenty behind our parents backs.

So is the youth center sufficient for preteens and below? Yes. They did not experience some influences teenagers get exposed to.

So its not just simply having a door open. You need a structure, a plan and a real objective. They, the kids, need guidance. Either at home or a third party.

OldRossie said...

Not to point fingers, but where are the parents? The people I see on the island don't strike me as they type to neglect... how do these kids get so troubled? honest question

interestedparties said...

I can't tell if you are genuinely clueless about the Youth Center or trying to gloss over the facts. Here is a paragraph from the 2012 RIOC budget:

"Public Purpose Grants:
The Roosevelt Island Youth Center was awarded
$175,000 each year to help fund operating expenses. This is a contractual obligation between
RIOC and Roosevelt Landings which was agreed to as one of the terms of Roosevelt Landings
Lease Agreement (the Youth Center's Landlord) in exchange for free rent and utilities."

The summer camp that you refer to, as well as the After-School program (serving kids 6-13) is paid for from a separate funding stream, which comes from DYCD (Dept. of Youth & Community Development).

The lines between the Youth Center & the Beacon are continuously - purposely - blurred so that it looks like there is an abundance of Youth services on the Island. It is time that we started seriously addressing the real problem of lack of services to the most at-risk children on this Island. And the problem is being ignored by those who have the means to not be dependent on a seriously deficient organization.

westviewgirl said...

who has 250.00 to send their child to camp?

westviewgirl said...

We need to get the state involved and have a Boy and Girls Club of America, or a YMCA here

westviewgirl said...

maybe a music program or art program for the kids? A youth soccor team for the kids? Cooking classes and tutoring if needed? Make a good safe place for children to go and learn and expand their minds. RIOC and the state has the money for this. Maybe hit up Related for some money as it is an island improvment.

CheshireKitty said...

I've seen the Summer Camp kids who seem genuinely engaged and happy to be in the program in their T shirts on the street going to and from activities/buildings. However, the kids are just kids, maybe not even adolescents - definitely not teens/youth. I can't think of a worse time to select to renovate the Youth Center than over the summer - when school is out, and aimlessness can easy turn into trouble.

CheshireKitty said...

A lot of parents wouldn't have that kind of extra money unfortunately. Let's face it, there's a paucity of things to do on RI. The programming at the library - they have programming but the facility is basically a 1-room library. There's nothing on the island. And yet, you have Kramer trying to fill the empty store-fronts with commercial tenants. How about a non-profit or two, who might address the problems/needs of aimless youth - aimless because there's nothing of any sort going on in our island? Westviewgirl has the right idea - why not invite the equivalent of a settlement house to RI, to get youth interested in new things, instead of just hanging out. Or take them on excursions and so forth.

Parents spend big bucks to send their kids to private school sin Manhattan, but then complain about the kids who hang out on the street. Not everyone is rich enough to go to private school. A way must be found to fund such a foundation to help island youth. If it is made tax-exempt then those that are disturbed by the youth hanging out could get a tax deduction while helping fund the foundation.

CheshireKitty said...

Of course it's being ignored by those who have the means to not depend on it. These kids are falling through the cracks. RIOC, our elected representatives - they've all failed us.

Look at the Bike Share program - another example of how they've failed us. The Bike Share program has spread to W Brooklyn, which is less than 45" away from RI by bike. Approximately half of RI is S of 59th St - the northernmost edge of Bike Share in Manhattan. There was no reason not to implement Bike Share on RI - for those who might want to ride to and from Williamsburg, Bushwick, or even further into W. Brooklyn, in addition to using the bikes on RI itself. The elected officials - City Council Member Lappin, and the CB - failed us on this. Imagine if families of modest means had made an investment to get an annual membership. Then at least the City Bike fob could be shared in families and occasionally the kids could take City Bike out for a ride, around island, or into Brooklyn. The Bikes would provide free transportation - within the 45" limit - in addition to exercise and fun. But this never happened on RI, because we do not have representatives that fight for us. Just as they don't look at our community problems and try to bring appropriate programs to RI.

NotMyKid said...

Honest answer is the teens being sneeky. Hey pop I'm going to joes house. Next thing you know he meets up with corrupt joe and smoke weed in the 23rd landing. That's how.

Another thing is denial. Many parents say nope. Not my son!. Well sorry lady bit yes.. your son is getting worst and worst.

Lets not forget. Every parent remembers their kid as sweet and innocent as well as their friends.

I have been called a liar and a bully by parents when little joey gets in trouble and is in my custody. Denial. Honest denial.

interestedparties said...

The Summer Camp they are referring to is free.

OldRossie said...

I'm really on the fence here... my wife and I waited to afford a kid, and work even harder now to continue affording one - I hate the idea of my tax money paying for kids that are not mine just because others weren't as responsible. Then again, irresponsible parents aren't the fault of the kids, so if my tax money goes ANYWHERE I'm happy for it to go toward keeping kids out of trouble (after all, a criminal record can be a life sentence). Very conflicted... So I disagree with westviewgirl on getting the state to pay for something, but I do agree with CheshireKitty on getting a not for profit (501c3 will mean a deduction, so more incentive for those that have to give). Perhaps the board should reach out to an established not for profit on taking some of the main street space?

justforyoumissy said...

The RIYP camp is free

CheshireKitty said...

Write to the Board: I wonder if they are conscious enough to consider researching and finding a not-for-profit. Or write to the Governor's office. But now that we have the Main St Master Lease, it is Kramer who will decide if a not-for-profit could take over empty Main St space. Who knows if Kramer would permit a not for profit to occupy space on Main St?

One day, there will be a truly ironic situation: The Kramer-"improved" Main St will be lined with shiny new stores - in and of itself nothing wrong with that - and outside the stores will be standing knots of youth/residents - mostly shut out of the economic activity because of lack of funds (let's not forget youth unemployment is about 60%). Not only can't the knots of people shop at the new stores, they have nothing to do and nowhere to go other than congregate on the street. The new and improved Main St, well-lit, lined with stores, may prove to be an even bigger draw for youth than ever before. In this, RIOC/Governor's office failed RI.
Some will then ask themselves: Gee, maybe we should have allocated some of the empty space to non profits that could have provided some structure or some activities to these youth, maybe help them find jobs, or get their marketable skills honed. We now have stores - but now we have even more youth in the street with nothing to do and nowhere to go. What is wrong with this picture? Where is our conscience, or even, were we conscious? What were we thinking when we adopted the Master Lease concept? Social problems don't just go away with the application of businesses to Main St.

billblass said...

Why doses every one blame eastwood. We have out standing . Hard working people living in eastwood

interestedparties said...

You have put forth a lot of information, little of which is relevant to my original post.

The Youth Program does not serve "over a thousand" of the Island's youth on the amount allocated in the RIOC budget ($175,000). Most of that is done in its capacity as sponsor of the Beacon Program, which is separately funded by the Dept. of Youth & Community Development, for which it receives a substantial amount of money. Beacons are required to provide certain services to the community - & in fact, they are supposed to be subject to Community oversight (ours is clearly not). Many of the services offered by the RIYP Beacon are less about programming "insight" and more about mandate.

The most recent IRS Form 990 that I could find (non-profits are required by law to file them, & they are public information) from 2011 shows that the Youth Program had a revenue amount of $739,699 - which kind of disputes the "we have no money for anything" narrative that is constantly put forward by them.

I agree that RIOC could & should spend more on Youth Services, as should all management companies. However, the idea that the RIYP does all that you claim above on the limited RIOC allocation is questionable.

I can't really speak to the rest of your comment, as it has little to do with my original comment.

Frank Farance said...

interestedparties, you need to have programming, resources, and funding to make it happen. What is your specific programming suggestion for youth 13-25? And funding for that program?

Also, if you carefully read what I said, you'll see that I estimated $100K of the $175K to be actual RIOC money (the other $75K comes in via contribution from Eastwood, as per the ground lease). In other words, if you have $100 for a party and I kick in another $75, even though you spent $175 on the party, it's fair to say that your contribution was $100, not $175. That's one part of the misleading wording in the RIOC budget.

I did not say that RIYP's total funding was $175K. I said that for RIOC's $100K they contribute (along with contributions from others, such as DYCD) provides good value for RIOC.

Even with $728K spent, that's $728 per year for a thousand kids. That seems like money well spent. (Of course, you could think about spending $1.5 million as the RI Day Nursery does for 50-ish kids at an approximate cost of $30K per child.)

You say "Many of the services offered by the RIYP Beacon are less about programming "insight" and more about mandate", but I was speaking about things that are not mandated, but would be beneficial. RIYP has offered ESL and SAT prep classes.

So back to the top: What's your *specific* suggestion for additional youth services in the 13 and older category?

Sam I am said...

Sorry I couldn't attend the meeting. Kudos for the proposed approach to dealing with the young adults that are disturbing the peace. But, the point you're missing, is that they are local gang members. I'm not saying anything that is unknown. Those same guys are part of that local gang that NotMyKid described below. How does this new committee going to deal with that?

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Sam: Let's start with some first steps (as we have outlined) and get some feedback. My understanding of your concern is: while we might be able to address disturbances of the peace, you believe that a "gang" problem is what makes those disturbances a recurring problem? In other words, it's the illegal actions (that need correction) or the non-illegal actions (that don't need arrests) are what we should focus upon. If those are addressed, then affiliation is less of a problem, right? (Not 100% sure I'm getting your point, which is why I'm asking.)

Frank Farance said...

As per our three prong strategy: the loud party on Saturday night at Al Lewis park is an example of something that needs to be corrected (the first prong). It was after midnight, the music and group singing was loud enough to be heard two blocks away. I went to Public Safety and complained, they said they had called NYPD twice for backup (the crowd was large), but NYPD had not yet arrived.

About a half hour later, PSD intervened and people started to disperse. I watched six women walk south through the WIRE buildings shouting loud enough to wake people. (Another situation that deserved correction, but PSD were focused on the park at that point.)

As some point, I thought: so if we believe we need to provide something else (it's summer time and this group is going to be awake regardless), then what is that Programming suggestion? For example, if Sportspark were open and there were (indoor) music, would that group then have congregated at Sportspark instead? I don't know. Suggestions?

However, amplified music outdoors (without a permit) is unacceptable after 10 PM. And even if a group is being relatively quiet, when it gets to 20-30 people, that murmur starts becoming loud enough that it is disruptive: it might be OK at the basketball courts away from residential buildings, but at the 580 driveway (SW corner of Capobianco), it can be disruptive to residents at 580 and across the street in 595.

Lastly, I didn't see or smell any pot smoking on either promenade.

NotMyKid said...

Right, but who is going to babysit them within a building? I know it's not psd job to do that. Yes, they will send one officer if it's a regulated basketball game, etc, but not for hanging out. That's rediculous.

Honestly the only policy is rapid deployment of all psd officers for dispersal before the crowd gets too large.

You and your neighbors should call psd immediately if 10 or more are congregating with loud music or illegal substances.

To wait until the group is too large and too much of a nuisance is not good. There's no profiling or anything negative about a fellow resident being aware or what is right and what is wrong.

With psd being a small law enforcement agency with limited personell, makes it very hard to fight numbers against numbers, especially if you are out numbered. This is why in the nypd, we love to double our numbers against what we are facing. If its 4 perps, there's gonna be 8 or better cops on my side.

So what I am trying to say is... Let's not get psd out numbered before calling for a complaint. Its dangerous even for a two man patrol team to approach a group of 10 or better, even armed with guns.

I think calling psd immediately is a viable solution until other avenues can be explored for the interim.

NotMyKid said...

Frank, It is a fact that there are gang members on the island. It is a fact that those gang members bring their buddies over to hang out on the island. Why not come to the island if there are plenty of books and crannies to hang out, smoke weed, deal drugs, nice view!.

It's a real problem. Ask Rick. He will tell you.

You can't just shoo along these people. They take shooing away as a sign of weakness. If psd does not take PROACTIVE measures, it's a lost fight.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: I understand your points, I called PSD when I first observed it, there was no reason to delay.

I threw out a Strawman idea: have the Sportspark open, with music, which would require supervision and security (PSD and/or NYPD) and, possibly, soft drinks. Essentially it becomes a "club", but without the alcohol (and drugs). Does that work? I don't know.

My point is: we need to frame this in terms of programming (e.g., Sportspark + music + drinks - alcohol), and resources (supervision, security), and funding (who will pay for this?). Just saying The Kids Should Have Something To Do, is not enough details to execute the idea.

You say "Right, but who is going to babysit them within a building? I know it's not psd job to do that. Yes, they will send one officer if it's a regulated basketball game, etc, but not for hanging out. That's rediculous."

My impression of last night was: there was a large proportion of women (and at the July 4 events, too), and many of those women were dressed up. Playing basketball is not the draw for the gals. And gals are the draw for guys. In other words, summer night basketball at Sportspark doesn't seem to draw away the party last night. Maybe you or others have some better ideas?

NotMyKid said...

i agree. just having a place to go does nothing to combat gang initiation and other negative elements.

my personal humble opinion is the older teens are highly unlikely to revert back to normal. it does happen but not without intervention from family and/or law enforcement.

serving soda pop. frank, seriously, this is a different era of kids from when you grew up. the days of stick ball and dodgeball are pretty much over in the urban environment.

the girls were attending a bbq function, hence they were dressed. the majority of guys and girls were drinking liquor, the hard stuff. its a party, and even that was heavily alcohol induced. try bringing soda and its a noshow event. oh and make sure the sign is at the door the dispose of the weed and philly dutches.

perhaps i am a little bit less political and perhaps too truthful, but that is the truth of the matter.

now, here is a different avenue.. can we save the younger kids, and how can we save them from even getting severly exposed to the negative elements the older crowd became exposed to?.

i already gave ideas on how psd can get DIRECTLY involved to try to get the younger ones off the bad track with DIRECT interaction with the juveniles parents. keep a log and detailed info on the detained youth. perhaps even schedule a "scared straight" trip to the jails. go to the morgue. hold seminars and parental training.

honestly, the buck starts at the home of the child. we can only become a support system and try. there is not a single thing that can be guaranteed. absentee mothers and fathers, and kids who are raised by their aunts and grandparents are a big issue as well. another big issue is denial. denial that their kids are doing bad.

maybe a parental/guardian support group with psd involvment can be made a monthly meeting as well? parents hold a lot of intelligence in regards to information about other kids. maybe the stories can be shared and nipped in the butt with each parent. a place they can share issues and exhange numbers for intel with each other.

to just try and put a bubble ln the trouble makers is not going to happen. its not going to work. the older ones are set in their teenage ways and very improbable to reverse. they might eventually do so in their late 20's. in my experience, that is the typical age the urban youth start to grow up and put those teenage trouble making years behind.

for the younger ones, maybe we can start them on a scholarship road to success. get a scholarship fund. help them find jobs at the age of 16+. teach them the fundamentals of responsibility perhaps?.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid: I agree with many of your points, and I knew it wouldn't come out right when I said Soft Drinks. :-)

It seems that if you're going to open a space on a hot summer night, and alcohol is definitely off limits, then (in a practical way) you have to have some form of soft drinks and, possibly, light food (chips are still served at bars to keep patrons there). You don't want people bringing in their own food/drink. As for drugs, it should not be about a stop and frisk, but there can't be any alcohol/drug use on premise.

I'm not disagreeing with you on the parenting connection and such -- those ideas should be tried.

However, I am focused specifically on the regular loud gatherings and what to do about them. It seems that your suggestion is to arrest them all because a non-arrest is a sign of weakness. According to you, having a place to go doesn't work either if alcohol/drugs are prohibited.

First, I don't agree that arrest is the only outcome for 16+ (the second of our suggested three prongs).

Second, I disagree that the only non-arrest possibility is for them to leave the Island.

Third, according to you, with their inability to change their teenage ways until late 20s, you're suggesting that given the choice between arrest and behaving peacefully, they are unable to behave peacefully, so arrest is inevitable? I can't imagine that to be so.

NotMyKid said...

i am not suggesting locking them up all.

seriously though, i want you to pretend for a minute in a law enforcement standpoint. strictly a police perspective.

imagine you are on patrol and various people keep calling for individuals in front of the deli lets say. everyday you go to the deli, shoo them away and in a hour or so, they come back. now you position an officer there, wasting resources that can be used elesewhere to babysit the deli for 8 hours. even with an officer there, being told to just shoo them away and take no enforcement action lets them know "its ok".

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid, I *am* trying to incorporate a police perspective and I appreciate the discussion. Here's my take on this: let's say you have a bunch of people making a racket in front of the deli, and you ask them to leave (they leave), but the next night you see them again and you make it clear that you don't want this happening again (so they leave again). On the third night, it's the same 4-5 people so you give them a warning. On the fourth night it's a summons and, possibly, an arrest. (Note: Escalation to arrest could be as sooner.)

And if I take your suggestion of officers having computers in the patrol cars and access to other records (I don't recall all the details of your suggestion a couple weeks ago), then when there's a dozen people hanging out, you can make the distinction between the 4-5 repeat offenders, and others who have had no interaction with Public Safety so far ... and, possibly, treat the repeat offenders differently.

Having the officer there provides value: he/she is keeping the peace, and the enforcement is happening, possibly in varying degrees. Although it might seem pointless on a day-to-day basis, you're actually winning the battle because either (1) they stop making a racket, or (2) eventually all of them are in jail with multiple offenses because they can't seem to learn. Thus, you win in either case, and you've made it clear that there behavior is NOT okay by virtue of the ongoing enforcement actions.

You say "now you position an officer there, wasting resources that can be used elesewhere to babysit the deli for 8 hours", but in fact it is NOT a waste because you are positioning an officer Where The Crime Is Occurring, and you're doing something about it. I'd say, that's a very efficient use of resources.

I don't know anyone who is saying No Enforcement. Well, maybe that was "misheard" by people around the time of the Slowdown with Guerra, but I can't imagine that No Enforcement is actually PSD policy.

Make sense?

interestedparties said...

I would suggest that the first step would be to take a good long look at the organization that is already in place, & supposed to be dealing with these issues - RIYP & the Beacon. The Beacon Program is supposed to have an Advisory Board in place, made up of parents, teachers, community members, religious leaders, youth etc - in order to ensure that the needs of the community are being served. If part of your three-pronged approach involves getting a handle on youth programming, then I would suggest starting with that.

Frank Farance said...

OK, will do.

NotMyKid said...

Not really. Your wasting an officer to babysit. Once you move the officer. . They are back. Its a waste of time and money for a bandaid

Frank Farance said...

interestedparties: I spoke to RIYP and the Beacon, they so have an advisory board and a youth committee, and have met regularly. Not sure what your concern is. I've heard people say "Oh the Youth Center (or Beacon, or whatever) should be doing such and such", but don't think about the programming, resources, and funding that are necessary ... and what it takes for a program to be successful.

My heart tells me not to give up, but others suggest focusing only upon the 14-ish year olds because the older ones who are troublemakers are lost and there's not much to do about them.
Or maybe I should ask this differently: other than Sex and Drugs, what kind of activity, event, or program do you think would attract them? (Rock and Roll?)

AllMy Children said...

If you only knew what you were talking about this would be an interesting debate but the fact that you believe that numbers you read represent actual dollars is seriously laughable. This is where one reads something but never experiences it and considers it an adventure.

AllMy Children said...

They are building a new Library

AllMy Children said...

Summer Camp for 20 year old's that's Club Med not youth camp.

interestedparties said...

Well if that is the case, I'm happy to be corrected. Please enlighten me, as you seem to understand the situation so much better than I.

CheshireKitty said...

But there are teen camps - for ages 13-17. What do you recommend?

CheshireKitty said...

About time, too! Unless a court blocks it, The New York Public Library is going to receive $150,000,000. - 150 million dollars - of taxpayer money for an unneeded, ridiculous "update" of the Main Branch on 42nd St: An expensive boondoggle thrown to the developers/their friends/friends of Bloomberg on the Library Board. Meanwhile 3 perfectly OK midtown branches are shut down and sold - of course at cheap prices to said developer friends - to raise more money for the "update". When it benefits the developer friends of Bloomberg, it seems the City of New York has millions to throw around. When it comes to finding a couple of million (or less) to redo our humble library, there was no interest/no money from the New York Public Library for months/years! No doubt the advent of Cornell finally shook the Library Board awake long enough to sign the lease for the new space.

CheshireKitty said...

Yes, enlighten us, since you say you know all the answers!

CheshireKitty said...

There have to be constructive activities. Once participants successfully complete a module, then they can have the positive reinforcement of throwing a party. The message has to be that developing themselves as people does eventually lead to the fun things in life they want (hopefully not illicit drugs). Hanging out aimlessly is hopeless. A life of crime/gangs is hopeless. Even simply helping them identify and apply for volunteer/internship opportunities would be a step forward. There's no reason they can't be participating/contributing members of society but there's nothing available to direct/encourage them.

NotMyKid said...

That sounds great but the late teens and corrupted ones would be extremely difficult to change. Now for the very young ones, with positive reinforcement through their lives at home, school and youth activities, that new cycle can be saved and you have a far greater chance of molding them into a better citizen.

Truth be told.
Also, I have been hearing psd is having a highly accelerated rate of non compliance from citizens as well as complete utter disrespect.

I think a community meeting with psd involved should be put into effect soon. The stories I heard are mind blowing and disheartening.

CheshireKitty said...

Hmm. That's too bad. You think McManus isn't getting a handle on it?

I don't know if it's extremely difficult to change those in their late teens and up who may be corrupted. There's always a substrate of conditioning/common sense that can always be built upon - unless they're complete monsters, which I don't think any of them are, thank goodness.

The message has to be as much as it may be nice or satisfying for the moment to hang out and shoot the breeze, it won't translate into permanently upgrading their lives. They can still do that, hang out - in moderation - but they have to think strategically and plan. They have to re-assimilate into the world of responsibility and believing in themselves. Even if they are HS dropouts at some point they must have had a class or a subject they enjoyed, or a teacher that inspired them. They have to identify something constructive they like, that engages them, and just build on it.

RooseveltIslander said...

That's not good. Can you give us any examples of non compliance and disrespect directed at PSD?

NotMyKid said...

From my own personal island psd experience, those kids were slowly getting influenced when I was there, the vast majority of them have fallen to bad. I wish you can see the transition from my personal standpoint, as well as the old timers from psd who some have seen the kids from birth to arrest.

There are a lot of behind the scenes that are not known. Yes, we know the parents of the kids, yes, we would reach out to them, yes they blame us for picking on their child. Yes, it gets frustrating when the parent does not want to have a relationship with psd. Denial.

I think McManus has a good handle on things in other ways. At the end of the day, he is not receiving direct aggression and attitude from citizens. Hopefully in due time it can change but I believe in nipping things in the butt before it gets out of hand. I will never second guess McManus, he has great reviews on nypd, was a great leader and genuinely a nice man. I would never tell the man how to run the department either. I will truthfully say my knowledge and experience is minuscule to his. Hence why he gets my greatest respect, as well as from his officers.

The only thing I suggest is quick action as the island is too small and things get out of hand all too quickly. That's my only suggestion I can make from my own experience working there.

NotMyKid said...

I have received direct complaints from a couple officers who have shared the same grievances.

They believe, off islanders too, since the news broadcasts on the jones case, several references to lawsuits and security were made.

Regardless, more and more individuals are challenging psd in hopes of getting arrested and filing a similar lawsuit of false arrest, etc.
I have heard stories from islanders and off islanders getting into officers faces, honking their horns for the patrol cars to move(yeah try doing that to a nypd cop!), failure to obey lawful orders and flat out disrespect to try to sucker the officer into taking summary action.

If perhaps there was an anonymous officer complaint sheet or forum, I'm sure many of them would have new stories everyday.

CheshireKitty said...

Indeed. All these instances should be recorded, including the license plate numbers.

But, if the PSD patrol cars have dash-cams and the officers are also supposed to be wearing cams, what are the chances those inviting arrest so as to be able to file a lawsuit will be able to pull off such a trick? Won't a jury immediately see that they were deliberately challenging PSOs - baiting them and so forth, in hopes of eventually cashing in?

This is why it's most important that all these encounters be recorded on camera. Even if there is no arrest, the incidents of unruly, disrespectful behavior should be saved. If an underage person is acting that way, the tape can be shown to the parents.

It sounds like there are a lot of things we never hear about - they aren't publicized, maybe the Wire thinks they would turn people off to RI, residents and potential residents alike.

interestedparties said...

Perhaps I wasn't clear - I was suggesting that if this framework is indeed in place (an Advisory Board made up of "Stakeholders" from the community) you would be interested in joining it in your capacity as another "stakeholder". If there is an issue with finding appropriate programming for kids in the vulnerable age group, perhaps you could assist in this. I'm sure many people would be interested in finding out when these meetings occur, who to speak to about joining the Advisory Board, how to get involved, etc., as this is an issue that ultimately affects so many on this Island. It is great that it is happening, but who are the ultimate decision-makers, and how can other concerned parties get involved? Where can we find out more about it - or do we take it as a fact that it is so?

NotMyKid said...

An advisory board is just that, advisors of some sort. No decisions can be made by them. Of course ultimate decisions would be made by RIOC and or appropriate sanctioned department, example the youth center.

Sam I am said...

I don't think it's about whether or not McManus is getting a handle on it or not. While he does possess vast experience from the NYPD, PSD is not the same thing. It's a different department with little support from the company it works for, and less support from the community it serves.

The officers don't receive the same training - but not because of McManus (or any other Director for that matter), but because they are not Police Officers and can not get the authorization to train as such.

The gang arrest by the NYPD proves that several gangs exist on the island. The ones arrested were Latin Kings. For the most part, the ones who live here are BMG (a subset of the Crips). There are also a few Bloods who live here too. And, while we haven't really had a gang war here, don't be naive to think it can't happen. There was already a fight, which led to one of them being stabbed, a pistol whipping by one of them, and a shooting.

We all have to remember this is NYC, and even though Feely & Co. tried to lead everyone to believe that these "youngins" were victims, or "survivors" as she called them, they are nothing but trouble. She and Maqueeva know this, because their sons hang with them all.

Anyway, I believe the thing to do is to cut PSD some slack. They never had the the resources and never will have the training or resources they need. Let them call NYPD for the proper assistance in dealing with these individuals. I doubt they will try to sue the NYPD for false arrest.

NotMyKid said...

The training issue you stated is nothing but further from the truth.

There are a vast array of training for police and peace officers as they do very very similar jobs. Perhaps a security guard cannot get the same training but surely psd can. Lets not fool ourselves.

One thing I do want to point to is that a large array of police/peace officer in service training requires the use of a firearm on duty.

I have been to dozens of training cycles and majority required a holster and focused on firearm tactics.

So in essence tes police and peace officers CAN get the same exact training.

Court officers, who are peace officers train withus at rodmans neck for active shooter, same with coop city police and tbta.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid, here's the crux of the matter: PSD is never going to have guns, and guns are necessary for some of the incidents on the Island.

Simply, there have been too many problems with RIOC, the RIOC Board, PSD, PSD's brass, oversight, etc., that this community will ever allow PSD to have guns.

However, a good number of incidents (an increasing number, as we see this summer) do require such equipment.

Which is why I'm saying we need an increased NYPD presence. The NYPD presence will not come from crime stats (which are very low), they will come from RIOC paying for those services (via, say, interagency agreement).

Let's look at last Saturday's party in Al Lewis park: even with Indelicato and McManus (strong leadership, law enforcement experience), we're still not seeing these problems solved. Essentially, PSD is not going into the park and clearing out the noise. Why? They feel outnumbered and, possibly, they don't feel they will get the same respect as NYPD.

And last Saturday was an example of poor staffing levels that aggravated the problem, something I've been complaining about since Guerra explained there are only 4-5 officers available for patrol. I counted approximately 7-8 officers on duty (4-5 in the park, 2 at deli, 1 at front desk), and no PSD brass (Bryan?, Suarez?). Certainly the party started before 11 PM, so no one from the prior 3-to-11 shift was kept on to help with the 11-to-7 shift?

NotMyKid, you like to have double the NYPD officers to deal with problems (8 officers to clear 4 people). While that might be reasonable doctrine, our PSD staff would then quickly overwhelmed when a group of 5 or more congregate. And NYPD was called twice, but (hey) it's a warm summer Saturday night with lots of activity in Astoria/LIC, so NYPD didn't come. Literally, it's not a "priority" for them (as described by NYPD officers), so they get there when they can.

Now had we paid for NYPD officers and a higher NYPD presence, we'd already have NYPD here.

Sure there are other improvements (like regular park policy, as I've suggested elsewhere), but the big problem is reformulating PSD to meet the needs of the community.

NotMyKid said...

I understand where you are coming from but hiring nypd officers to do police work as an off duty gig is like trying to mix oil and water.

So then what do you propose to get the community on board and help at least get one firearm per shift available as a precaution?.

Perhaps start very small and just see what happens?. I think it's a disservice to have sworn law enforcement officers walking around like this is London(even they have a few on armed response duty). Metropolitan NYC, the Mecca of millions of people.

Rewind the clock and ask me if I was stupid and how many times I risked my life apprehending real criminals or entering an unknown element unarmed!. Never would I ever revert to that time.

So what I am saying is, it's a extremely dangerous job to do it with a flashlight and a set of handcuffs.

Maybe one single gun per shift, just to say "we did something" if an officer ever gets shot again or stabbed, seriously wounded or worst, god forbid, killed.

Frank Farance said...

NotMyKid, you haven't read my posts. I'm not asking for off-duty officers, I'm asking for on-duty officers via government interagency agreement, just as HUD has done on other housing projects where they ask for More Than The Normal Level Of Service. The interagency is pretty normal, and NYPD already has them.

And, it gives you at least or better than the "one single gun per shift" that you feel is necessary (I agree with you).