Monday, December 12, 2011

A Small Town In The Middle Of New York City

The New York Times had a piece this weekend on a side of New York City I never knew existed. Roosevelt Island is a small island between Manhattan and Queens. The part that struck me was that because of it's unique geography, Roosevelt Island was more like a small town than an area in one of the world's largest most cosmopolitan cities.
It is a law enforcement curiosity. Technically part of Manhattan, Roosevelt Island pays for its own Public Safety Department and 37 peace officers. They are trained by the state with special New York City patrolman status, meaning they can make arrests and issue summonses. Three are plainclothes detectives. All are unarmed. 
“This is New York City,” Chief Guerra said, “so crime does occur here.” A given week might bring a graffiti complaint or a small-bore drug arrest. But seven burglaries in and around the same apartment complex in June constituted a full-blown crime wave.
This is definitely not what I think of when I think of Main Street, USA.

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