Covering Battery Park City

The N.Y.P.D. has established a unit called the World Trade Center Command that will patrol the 16-acre World Trade Center site with a force of more than 600 officers. A week before the National September 11 Memorial is scheduled to open, police were stationed around the site in large numbers. Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

World Trade Center Command:
Police presence in and around the World Trade Center site has grown noticeably in the last week. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has said that eventually, the World Trade Center Command will be the N.Y.P.D.’s largest unit, with 673 officers. The number assigned to the World Trade Center Command will increase as more structures are completed. At the present time, there are around 200 officers assigned to the site. At a breakfast for the Police Foundation in January of this year, Kelly said that all the officers would have counterterrorism training.

According to The New York Daily News (July 1, 2011), officers to staff the World Trade Center Command are being drawn from an N.Y.P.D. initiative called “Operation Impact” that was designed to reduce crime in high-crime neighborhoods. The article noted that the N.Y.P.D. is stretched thin, with about 33,600 officers compared with 42,000 in fiscal 2001.

The World Trade Center Command is headquartered on Varick Street in a space that had previously been used as stable for the N.Y.P.D.’s mounted unit. Officers from the N.Y.P.D.’s First Precinct, headquartered in another part of the same building, continue to patrol Battery Park City along with Tribeca, the South Street Seaport, City Hall and SoHo.

Russian Police in B.P.C.:
A bus carrying Russian police visited Battery Park City on Sept. 3. Russia participated in the biennial World Police and Fire Games that took place in New York City between Aug. 26 and Sept. 5, with an interruption and some event cancellations caused by Hurricane Irene.

The World Police and Fire Games are open to active and retired members of the law enforcement and firefighting communities and were first held in 1985. This year, they brought more than 15,000 world-class athletes from over 70 countries to New York City to compete in 69 sports and events. In one event, the stair race held on Sept. 3, firefighters wearing full gear (helmet, turnout coat, pants and boots and carrying oxygen tanks) raced up 37 flights of stairs at 7 World Trade Center. Joshua Harrison of the New Zealand Fire Service came in first with a time of 5 minutes 48 seconds. One of the firefighters who competed in the event, Richard Gendron from Longueuil, Quebec, was quoted in a Canadian newspaper as saying, “I’m dedicating each flight to one of my fallen friends lost 10 years ago this week.” Gendron said that he didn’t know any of those who died but, “Like me, all they wanted was to fight fires, then go home at the end of the day to their wife and kids.” The next World Police and Fire Games will be held in 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which has also seen its share of trouble and strife.

B.P.C. dogs:
Reports are surfacing that the new 4,300-square-foot South Street dog run under the F.D.R. Drive near Pine Street is so dirty that dogs that use it are getting sick. The Economic Development Corp. built the dog run and is responsible for maintaining it.

Battery Park City has three dog runs, which are maintained by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. “The dog runs are power-washed twice a day – at 11a.m. and again at 7 p.m.,” said Paula Galloway of the B.P.C. Dog Association. “The B.P.C. Parks Conservancy staff monitors the runs during the day and if needed, they will power wash a third time. In the winter months, the schedule is the same, depending on the weather. Bruno Pomponio, who heads the Maintenance Department at the Conservancy, works well with our dog association to address any maintenance issues that arise.”

One of Battery Park City’s dog runs — the one on Kowsky Plaza just south of the North Cove Marina — was named for Sirius, a four-year-old golden Labrador who worked as a bomb-sniffing dog at the World Trade Center. Sirius was the only police dog killed on 9/11. B.P.C. also has dog runs in West Thames Park and on North End Avenue.

Sunrise 9/11 observance:
On Sept. 11 at 6:10 a.m., residents of Battery Park City and anyone who wants to join them will assemble on the esplanade at Rector Place and walk, carrying candles, to Wagner Park. “All are invited to join in any part of the observance,” said Rosalie Joseph, who was one the chief organizers of the event. At Wagner Park, she said, there will be “Reflections of peace and community through music, poetry and passages performed and read by B.P.C. residents.” Coffee and pastries will be served at 7:30 a.m. The Battery Park City Neighbors Network, the Battery Park City Authority and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy are sponsoring the observance.

B.P.C. Block Party:
The 10th annual Battery Park City Block Party, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17 (rain date, Sunday, Sept. 18) on Esplanade Plaza, includes an Apple Pie Bake-Off with prizes for first, second and third place. For more information about the bake-off or to reserve a table for the day that can be shared with family and friends, email info@bpcblockparty.com. (Table space is limited.) To volunteer on the day of the event email volunteer@bpcblockparty.com. All volunteers are invited to a party afterward.

Merchants restaurants offering discounts to Memorial visitors:
Three restaurants owned by Merchants Hospitality that are within walking distance of the World Trade Center site are offering a 10 percent discount to customers who have visited the National September 11 Memorial and show their visitor’s pass at the restaurants. The discount is for anyone who visits the site not only on 9/11 – but going forward. The three restaurants are Pound & Pence at 55 Liberty St., Merchants Café at 90 Washington St. and Merchants Market at the Staten Island Ferry. For information on reserving a visitor pass to the National September 11 Memorial, go to http://www.911memorial.org/visitor-passes.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@mac.com

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