By Sabina Mollot
The Public Safety department of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village invested in a fleet of six new bikes and three new Segway scooters, while also saying goodbye to three of its five SUV trucks.
The shift in transportation methods has a couple of reasons, according to StuyTown Property Services.
The first is to increase visibility of a security presence as a crime deterrent. The other is to make it easier for residents to get to know public safety officers.
The department is also in the midst of instituting a program similar to one being introduced by the 13th Precinct which places officers in very specific areas to act as community liaisons. The idea is to make it easier for neighborhood residents to form relationships with local law enforcement.
“We want for a kid to walk up and say, ‘Hi, Officer Gabe,’” explained Rick Hayduk, Stuyvesant Town general manager of the strategy, which was the idea of Public Safety Chief Frances Martin. “If you’re in Peter Cooper, you’re in Peter Cooper five days a week. You stay there and build relationships.”
It is also aimed at making sure every section of the property has security coverage nearby. One officer will be stationed either on foot, bike or Segway in each of four sectors in ST/PCV. They will be sent elsewhere only for emergencies as other officers will be assigned to respond to issues inside buildings. Along with crime deterrence, the outdoor officers are also expected to handle things like dog and bike rule enforcement.
Asked what the routine would be in cold or crummy weather, Hayduk said the officers will still remain outside, although they can head to security kiosks on the perimeter of the property (currently under repair but soon to be completed, according to Hayduk) to warm up or keep dry before heading back out.
Though not electronic, the new bikes are high-speed and meant for on and off-road use. Since public safety is also considered a department of first responders, two of the SUVs will remain onsite.