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Staten Island Takeover?
December 12, 2016
Why is the State Police, whose relatively small 5,041-person force covers the state, patrolling in Staten Island when the city has the NYPD and its 36,000 cops?
Is this another of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tweaks of arch-enemy Mayor Bill de Blasio?
“With the exception of 9/11, this is an unprecedented deployment into an area that is the primary jurisdiction of the NYPD,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said of the two-trooper, 6 a.m.-to-4 p.m., seven-day-a-week patrols of the State Island Expressway.
Cuomo says he directed the State Police “to partner” with the NYPD after an alert from Staten Island’s Assemblyman Michael Cusick. In a statement released by the governor’s office, Cusick complained that the expressway’s HOV lanes have been “widely abused by vehicles with less [sic] than three passengers, due in no small part to a lack of enforcement.”
Cusick did not return phone calls from NYPD Confidential, asking why he had not sought assistance from the NYPD — specifically its Highway Patrol, including Unit 5, which is based at 2330 Hylan Blvd. on Staten Island.
A Staten Island reader, noting the State Police presence, emailed: “They are supposed to be doing HOV enforcement only but already they have started doing a little bit more here and there on S.I. highways. Is this goal of Mr. Cuomo to take over the NYC highways from the NYPD…? Who knows where it will go from there? Is the FDR next? Will Cuomo have his troopers stopping de Blasio?”
Over at the NYPD, which like other law enforcement entities is sensitive about its jurisdiction, no one was saying much about “partnering” with State Police last week. Neither Staten Island’s top police official, Assistant Chief Edward Delatorre, nor Lt. Joseph Bell of Highway Unit 5 returned phone calls.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said only: “They [State Police] let us know when they are patrolling.” He added, “I am good friends with George Beach,” who heads the State Police.
Asked how the partnering was going, State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said: “The State Police has a positive working relationship with the NYPD and any rumors that this partnership has been anything but positive and productive are simply not true.”
A greater relief may be that he will not be attorney general or director of homeland security — jobs, says The New York Times, Giuliani was offered but turned down. (As was said back in the day of Mario Cuomo, who supposedly rejected President Bill Clinton’s offer of a Supreme Court judgeship, perhaps Giuliani had to agree to reject those positions before he was offered them.)
News reports suggested that Giuliani’s bid to head State might have become undone by his 2002 $4.3 million contract to assist the Mexico City police, which came a few months after leaving his mayoralty and Time Magazine named him its Man of the Year (citing his leadership after the 9/11 attack.)
Remember that contract? Although a private citizen, Giuliani flew to Mexico City, accompanied by a 12-man NYPD detail, funded by NYC taxpayers, as well as with his former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who ended up in federal prison.
It turned out that part of the $4.3 million was paid for by the then head of government in Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who some believe will run for president of Mexico in 2018 on an anti-Trump platform.
Was that the reason Trump bailed on Rudy? Or was it Rudy’s arrogance, independence and yen for self-promotion that approaches Trump’s?
The world awaits the full story.
Copyright © 2016 Leonard Levitt