The same day two New York City police officers were shot at inside a public housing complex on the Lower East Side, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and other elected officials reiterated their concern this morning about whether designated public housing cops are being re-assigned elsewhere, most notably to policing Occupy Wall Street.
Squadron, who represents the LES and parts of Brooklyn, said he is concerned the city removed designated New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) cops from public housing beats in November and sent them to guard Occupy Wall Street, while the movement was still camped at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan.
“It was raised with us that officers were being deployed for Occupy Wall Street,” said Squadron. “I’m not even sure that’s the case, but we need the city to tell us.”
Squadron, along with Congresswoman Nydia Valezquez and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, sent a letter to Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway, who oversees the NYPD, and Deputy Mayor Robert Steel, who oversees NYCHA, asking to “clarify” the extent to which police were reassigned. That letter was sent Dec. 13, and so far, said Squadron, he has gotten zero response from the city.
A downsized Occupy Wall Street now uses the Atrium on Wall Street, but Squadron said he’s concerned that NYCHA cops are still being removed for other special events, such as parades.
NYCHA also pays for police protection. In 1994, the housing authority and the city made a deal that mandates they pay the NYPD for ongoing law enforcement services, by designating “Police Service Areas” (PSAs) within public housing. Currently, NYCHA pays over $70 million a year to the NYPD for these special police services.
Two city police officers were involved in a wild shooting at the Baruch Houses, a PSA 4, early yesterday morning.