Following StuyTown Property Services announcing new efforts to make the complex safer, Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, responded with the TA’s own view, which is that equipment is nice, but live patrols are better. The TA also recommended more interior lighting. Read on for the association’s statements.
In the wake of the sexual attack on a young Stuy Town resident in her building vestibule in the early morning of February 19, The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is once again speaking up for two vital safety measures we have been requesting for years: More foot patrols, especially at night, and far better lighting of interior paths.
General Manager Rick Hayduk’s follow-up communication to residents was a timely reminder of the emergency equipment already available: blue-lighted stanchions throughout the community, “security” buttons on lobby intercoms, the manned central video security screen system, and foot and car patrols 24/7.
Addressing future improvements, he cited plans to work with security consultants to identify where “new and additional equipment can be placed to enhance coverage.”
We at the TA insist that far more important than additional electronic wonders is a seriously enlarged force of on-foot public safety personnel and more small vehicles always on the move. It was just such a band of visible, on-foot and on-wheels security personnel constantly patrolling the property and checking the stairwells of each building every day that once made this community the lowest crime area in the city.
While Mr. Hayduk’s letter to residents addressed the need for improved outdoor lighting, his emphasis was on perimeter lighting. It is inadequate lighting within the community that presents the larger problem. Low wattage lamps along walkways cast dim light and leave numerous dark spots that pose a serious public safety threat.
Another suggestion for greater safety: Many of our younger residents are new to the big city, unfamiliar with basic personal safety measures taken by people more aware of the risks of coming home without a companion in the early morning hours. Management’s excellent emails and other communications, as well as any orientation material for new residents, should highlight the issue.
One more point: Mr. Hayduk noted that officer escorts are available from the Peter Cooper Village security booth on First Ave. and 22nd Street and from the command center at 2 Stuyvesant Oval. The PCV booth is situated on brightly lighted First Avenue but 2 SO is already a long hike in the dark. The Tenants Association would like to see safe-escort facilities at street entrances.
Why not put those unused public safety booths on the perimeters to work? Keep them manned and lit at night. They will signal safety to residents returning home and danger to anyone looking for trouble.