“What the hell is going on with this department?” PSD Frustrations Boil Over


With anger already simmering over RIOC misconduct, PSD frustrations boiled over, this week, in a pair of incidents. But high paid management made things worse, failing to respond to valid complaints.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

As PSD frustrations hit my inbox at an accelerated clip, I asked a local senior who reached out if anyone from RIOC’s management answered her complaint.

“That’s like asking if the Pope is Chinese!” she said.

Here is her story.

(Name withheld because of RIOC’s reputation for retaliating against critics.)

Most Frequent PSD Frustrations: They’re Invisible

“This afternoon, around 1:30, I was trying to cross Main Street at the crosswalk between the church and the alleyway next to Wholesome Factory,” the frustrated senior wrote.

“A UPS truck pulled into the crosswalk and between the northbound traffic and the southbound truck I had to wait for 7 minutes. It turned out the truck was waiting to turn into that alley. He had no left turn signal on and there was no way to see if there was any other traffic.

“There were no PSD officers in place at that crosswalk either,” she continued. Then added, “I guess that might happen after somebody gets killed?”

But finally, she continued. And grew more frustrated.

“Further, I was on my way to the Roosevelt Nails salon. As I was sitting at the drying station, which looks out onto Main Street and the crosswalk which goes from there to the opening between Westview and the deli shop, almost no vehicles going north stopped for the stop sign and crosswalk.

“Again, no PSD officers at that crosswalk either.

“I stopped into the PSD office. They listened but had no response.

“What the hell is going on with this department? I almost never see the officers outside, and certainly not at any of the crosswalks.

“I think it is time for us to contact our elected officials, both at NY City and NY State. After all, for what we pay out of our monthly maintenance as well as our taxes we certainly deserve a better situation than what we have now!”

Delivery truck double parking on Roosevelt Island’s narrow Main Street is common, but we picked this one for illustration because it shows PSD contributing to the problem. Although lots of legal spaces are already set aside for their abundant vehicles, one’s parked illegally in front of their headquarters. And not a single officer in sight.

About the situation we have now…

It goes beyond simple negligence because, as the complaint suggests, Roosevelt Islanders pay a lot of money for a Public Safety Department that’s all but invisible much of the time.

After other complaints eventually filtered up to management, PSD officeres started driving around with their lights flashing for no apparent reason. This, of course, increases visibility, but it has no impact whatsoever on the “community policing” they say they practice.

But that’s also invisible as most officers are either hiding inside headquarters or among a suspected cache of no and low show workers bloating RIOC’s budget.

Residents pay the bulk of $4 million every year, via the hidden RIOC tax, for a staff of fifty.

Before RIOC’s Communications Team banned distribution of PSD incident reports, they showed barely enough activity for ten officers, let alone 50.

Conclusion: Can We Expect Better?

PSD frustrations grow, but response has been consistently invisible, but that’s not saying no hope is possible.

Frequently published reports of PSD’s failures at managing bicycles and eBikes elicited a similar silence from RIOC, but they got better, nonetheless.

Bicycles on sidewalks lessened, and at least in the center of town, riders at least pause at crosswalks. The situation’s still hazardous, especially for seniors, but it’s better.

Keep on pushing. Keep on making noise.

You might slowly see some payback on your RIOC tax investment.

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  1. The thing that’s also getting out of hand, the noise from these wanna be motorcycle “gangs” with their motocross bikes and quads tearing up and down the street at night. I got woken up at midnight last night from that. They’re getting really brazen.

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