Roosevelt Island, NY – May 9, 2023 – Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President & CEO Shelton J. Haynes today announced a new 10-point plan aimed at strengthening public safety and re-affirmed RIOC’s commitment to improving the quality of life for island residents.
The new 10-Point Plan takes a holistic approach to increasing island safety, bringing together stakeholders from the community, schools, Public Safety Department (PSD), and New York Police Department (NYPD) to address concerns ranging from violent offenses and petty crimes to child bullying and traffic congestion.
“Roosevelt Islanders expect a safe environment, and the measures we’re announcing today are designed to address a whole host of issues that are top of mind for our community,” said RIOC President and CEO Shelton Haynes. “Starting with our first PSD Community Engagement Meeting back in April, RIOC has been adamant about hearing directly from island residents about ways we can make people feel safer and more secure. Our 10-point plan takes into account all of the feedback we’ve received and will serve as our blueprint for island safety moving forward.”
The 10-point Public Safety Plan includes:
- Newly formed Island Stabilization Team which have dedicated PSD foot patrols across the island to re-direct resources in the Southtown area and Main Street throughout the day. Introducing PSD bike patrols across the island as a part of the Island Stabilization Team to re-direct resources on island wide locations beginning on June 3, 2023, throughout the day including after school hours and the evening.
- RIOC has successfully advocated for Social Services and is working with Hudson Related - they came through with “Breaking Ground” an organization that specializes in social services. Their services will begin in resident buildings on June 1. In addition to other Island buildings, PSD will be conducting verticals in Building 460 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Increased targeted PSD presence in areas deemed “hotspots” on the island.
- Fully integrating the island camera system with the NYPD’s system. The decision to integrate the two systems will allow for faster information sharing between the two departments and improve the ability to investigate reported crimes expeditiously.
- Developing a plan of action to combat bullying. RIOC is meeting with leadership from P.S./I.S. 217, NYPD, DOE District 2 Superintendent, Borough Safety Director’s, and Field Safety Counsels to discuss the on-going bullying issues and come up with a plan of action to deal with the problem before it escalates to the level of PSD/NYPD involvement. The meeting will include the PSD Youth officer.
- Launching a new constituent services department. Island residents will be able to speak directly with RIOC about their issues which will then be escalated through proper channels – to be announced in the coming week.
- PSD will crack down on traffic enforcement across all modes of transportation on the island – designated traffic officers will address illegal parking, and double parking which will mitigate traffic congestion.
- Increasing youth services. In the near future, RIOC will announce available programming for Island teens and increase collaboration with Island youth to work on expanding the youth services offered to the community. The Community youth workshops will consist of topics such as anti-bullying, social media engagement and cyber stalking.
- RIOC will continue to engage building management to address resident reported hotspots and have direct rapport with PSD for immediate response.
- Creating community engagement programming for Island youth in conjunction with NYPD.
“Some of these initiatives have already gone into effect,” said Assistant Vice President & Public Safety Chief Kevin Brown. “Island residents should already notice the increased foot patrols, in addition to PSD officers stationing themselves strategically at different points around the island. We know that bullying has been a pervasive issue for certain students at P.S. 217, so our more formal engagement with school leadership this coming week is intended to address the issue at its root. Beefing up our youth services should also mitigate some of the bullying by providing our younger island residents with more positive outlets to help develop life-skills.”
Chief Brown added, “Long-term, the integration of our island camera system with NYPD is going to be particularly important. We’ve been working to update some of our more antiquated systems here on the island, and working with the NYPD to improve our camera systems will help deter and solve issues of crime. We hope to have this project completed sometime this summer.”
President Haynes continued, “With all of that said, I also think it’s important to restate the obvious: Roosevelt Island remains and incredibly safe place to be. Our island is consistently one of the safest communities in all of New York City—by every measurable data point—thanks in large part to our wonderful Public Safety Department, led by Chief Kevin Brown, and due to the strength of the community itself. Quality of life on the island is of paramount importance to me, and we will continue to look for new and innovative ways to further enhance it for everyone.”
About Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC):
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 by the State of New York as a public benefit corporation with a mission to plan, design, develop, operate, and maintain Roosevelt Island. With a focus on innovative and environmentally friendly solutions, RIOC is committed to providing services that enhance the island's residential community. RIOC manages the two-mile-long island's roads, parks, buildings, a sports facility, and public transportation, including the iconic aerial tramway. Additionally, RIOC operates a Public Safety Department that helps maintain a safe and secure environment for residents, employees, business owners, and visitors.