Thursday, March 15, 2012

NYPD: no decision has been made regarding precinct assignment for Barclays Center

Contradicting an anonymously sourced New York Post article, a New York Police Department official this morning indicated that no decision has been made to assign police coverage of the Barclays Center arena to the 78th Precinct, whose stationhouse is just a block away.

The arena site actually covers two precincts, and the entire Atlantic Yards project involves a third precinct. City Council Member Letitia James has proposed a special annex shared by all three precincts.

Inspector Terrence Riley of the Office of Management Analysis & Planning, said that "my office's report [on the precinct] is not even complete." The report, and decision, will not be made until after consultation with the community, including Council Member James.

Riley, speaking at the bimonthly meeting of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, was thanked by James, who was in attendance.

Riley said his office collects data, including response times, and crime density, to "try to come to a logical conclusion."

Timetable?

Riley said that a decision, if it involves changing precinct boundaries, must be made at least two months before the facility opens.

James indicated that she thought the change would have to go through ULURP, the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which involves nonbinding recommendations from community boards and the Borough President.

Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board 6, clarified that, though the decision requires City Council approval, it does not go through ULURP.

James added that she didn't think taxpayers should bear the brunt of overtime serving the arena. Riley said the police department is discussing "how we could leverage our Paid Detail program," in which uniformed officers are hired to work at certain sites.

James said she wanted NYPD to look at models from around the country and city in policing large venues.

Security issues

Jim Vogel, a representative of Senator Velmanette Montgomery, noted that Montgomery and James have asked NYPD for security plans, and had been told nothing could be released.

Riley said such plans are part of the planning process earlier on, but with the Counter-terrorism division.

Vogel asked not for the blueprints, but for some assurances "other than, we got it handled."

Riley said he'd "engage with" his counter-terrorism colleagues.

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