To the Editor:
I’d like to take a moment to respond to some concerns that have been expressed to me over the last few weeks suggesting the Public Safety Department is not adequately staffed, and the deployment of PSD resources to the perimeter of the Cornell site negatively impacts our ability to address the needs of the Roosevelt Island community.
Assessing patrol strength, (the number of officers that we carry at any given time), is a fluid process that is constantly assessed.
Some examples of factors that influence patrol strength are: the amount of crime in a community, the amount of residents serviced, the size of the area that is patrolled, increased responsibility taken on by the Law Enforcement entity, and schools or other sensitive locations that the Law Enforcement entity is responsible for. This, of course, is not an all-inclusive list.We feel that the present PSD patrol strength adequately addresses the present needs of the Roosevelt Island Community.
One full time Public Safety Officer is assigned to the exterior of the Cornell site at Gate #1 which is the main vehicle entrance to the site. The Officer’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to: managing vehicular and pedestrian traffic, helping to coordinate the escorts of oversized vehicles both to and from the site, enforcing parking conditions on the perimeter of the site, and ensuring that Emergency Response Vehicles have unimpeded access and egress to and from the southern part of the Island. The aforementioned responsibilities of the assigned Officer are essential to the viability of traffic and safety in the perimeter of the site. Further, the assignment of an officer to the perimeter of the site does not negatively impact the Public Safety Department’s daily patrol strength due to the fact that the officer is available to respond to any need on the Island. Additionally, I received similar comments about the officer positioned at the booth near the tram. Rest assured that this officer performs a broad range of services for the island.
Further, these assignments have no negative financial impact on RIOC. As we approach the development of two (2) new buildings in the Riverwalk area and Cornell takes occupancy this coming summer, we will be reexamining our current staffing levels. Be Safe!
John B. McManus, RIOC