NEW YORK — State Senator Daniel Squadron (D-Lower Manhattan/Downtown Brooklyn) has asked the city to explain the fact that dedicated New York Police Department officers who are assigned to public housing developments have recently been redeployed to unrelated operations, such as Occupy Wall Street.
In 1994, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the city reached a memorandum of understanding that requires NYCHA to pay the NYPD for ongoing law enforcement services for housing-project residents. Officers who are assigned to projects are headquartered in “Police Service Areas” (PSAs), which are similar to precincts.
Currently, NYCHA pays more than $70 million a year to the NYPD for these special police services, making it the only residential landlord in the city that is required to pay for police protection.
However, both NYCHA staffers and PSA officers report that the dedicated officers have been regularly redeployed to non-NYCHA operations, taking critical protection away from public housing developments that need it most.
In a recent letter to Mayor Bloomberg, Squadron was joined by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn/Manhattan), Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and others in asking the city to clarify the extent to which PSA officers have been taken away from their usual duties.
“There are many, we included, who are concerned that NYCHA is the only residential landlord in the city that is required to pay NYPD for police protection. But as long as NYCHA is required to pay, it should be compensated when officers are taken away from their responsibilities at public housing developments and the PSAs are required to operate on less than full-force strength,” the elected officials wrote.