Tuesday, April 19, 1994


The Police Academy Is Going To Stay Here, in Manhattan.

This is such good news I want to repeat it - the Police Academy is going to stay on East 20th Street. The news that fiscal sanity has prevailed, and our children will not have to pay for an unnecessary $260M Police Palace in the Bronx makes one hope that maybe New York City can, once more, rise out of the downslide and become a living, functioning organism.

Since 1986, when the Mayor's Committee on Police Management and Personnel Policy first recommended a new academy and we organized the Committee to Save the Police Academy (CSPA), there were a number of threats that made the move of the Acadamy to the Bronx a virtual certainty. Sophisticated political people advised us to forget about saving the Academy and to concentrate on alternate uses of the site, that you cannot fight City Hall. Naive and stubborn, we persisted, and between bombarding City Hall with petitions and letters, speaking up at public hearings, insisting that a cost/benefit justification for a new building be made, we have managed to keep our Academy. Or so we feel. More realistically, we could not have done it without the the aid of the huge deficit that by necessity had to shrink the city's capital budget.

We also had to contend with adversity, such as two hostile editorials and articles in the New York Times. We were responsible for a new word in the English language. William Safire to note: a New York Times editorials writer coined an acronym to describe us - SIMBY (Stay In My Back Yard), as contrasted with the well-known NIMBY. The Times seemingly reflected the strong feeling in The Bronx that a new Academy would somehow serve the economic rebirth of the borough.

But we also had friendly press, from the community newspapers, and a responsive Community Board #6, which kept hitting the Mayors with a resolution asking for an economic justification for the move.

And now to our friends and collaborators. CSPNA sprung to life in 1986 because the recommendation to move the Academy was instantly seen by everybody in the neighborhood as a threat to the security of our "bed-pan" area, through the loss of the presence of the recruits. Every area activist immediately lent his or her name to the effort to save the Academy. District leaders of both parties, councilpersons, assemblypersons, state senators, a member of the Congress; heads of every civic association, clergy, educators, CB#6 - the honor roll of people who lent us their names and their time is long, and we salute every one of you. In rough alphabetical order, you are:

Rev. James C. Amos (Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church), Rev. Irving J. Block (Brotherhood Synagogue), Jack Bringaman (Concerned Citizens Speak), Hon.Barbara Cattell (Federal Republican Club), the late Hon. Beth Robertson Cosnow (Tilden Democratic Club), Hon. Jane Crotty (Community Board #6), Louise Dankberg (Tilden Democratic Club), the late Alline E. Davis (22st St. East Block Association), James Dougherty (Gramercy Neighborhood Associates), Hon. Peter Doukas (Mid-Manhattan New Democratic Club), Alvin Doyle (Stuyvesant Town Tenants Association), Hon. Rose Dubinsky (Jefferson Democratic Club), Hon. Andrew Eristoff (4th City Council District), Hon. Lou Frank (Tilden Democratic Club), Hon. Miriam Friedlander (2nd City Council District), Hon. Sylvia Friedman (Gramercy-Stuyvesant Independent Democratic Club), Hon. Raymond Gibson (Mid-Manhattan New Democratic Club), Hon. Mary Gleason (Jefferson Democratic Club), Hon. Roy M. Goodman (26th Senatorial District), Hon. Carol Greitzer (3rd City Council District), Rosalee Isaly (Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association), Oliver Johnson (Union Square Park Community Coalition), Hon.Andrew Kulak (Jefferson Democratic Club), Hon. Myrna LePree (New York State Committee, 63rd Assembly District), Hon. John B. Levitt (Tilden Democratic Club), Jay Litwin (Mid-Manhattan New Democratic Club), Hon. Carolyn B. Maloney (U.S. House of Representatives, 14th District), Joyce G. McCray (Friends Seminary), Hon. Manfred Ohrenstein New York State Senate, 27th Senatorial District), Hon. Antonio Pagan (2nd City Council District), Hon. William F. Passanante (61st Assenbly District), Rev Dr Thomas F. Pike (Calvary-St.George's Episcopal Church), Jo-Ann Polisi (Stuyvesant Town Tenants Association), Hon. Stuart Prager (New York State Committee, 63rd Assembly District), Jo Pulvermacher Community Board #6), Francine Quesada (Independent Democratic Club), Hon. Bartholomeew M. Regazzi (Albano Republican Club), the late Joe Roberto, AIA, E.Peter Ryan(Gramercy Neighbors), Phillip Rothman (Cabrini Community Advisory Board), Hon. Steven Sanders (63rd Assembly District), Carol Schachter (Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association), Hon. Louis Sepersky (Community Board #6), Evelyn Strouse (Union Square Park Community Coalition), Hon. Mary M. Stumpf (Mid-Manhattan New Democratic Club), Hon. Joy Tannenbaum (Albano Republican Club), Jack Taylor (Union Squar Parl Community Coalition), Hon. Philip Wachtel (Independent Democratic Club), Rob Walsh (14th Street Union Square Local Development Corporation B.I.D.), Hon. Peter K. Wilson (Jefferson Democratic Club), Hon. Paul Wrablica (Federal Republican Club). If I've left anyone out, please remind me, and I'll make amends.

But remember - eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and never say never. We must remain watchful. I am saving all your phone numbers, just in case.

Finally, let us all wish our sister borough, The Bronx, a good economic recovery, and hope that they will utilize the 10 acres near the 149th Street Hub which they had set aside for their Academy, to bring in some industry with a payroll. The poor recruits would have only brought sandwich money, if that - since many of them brown-bag.

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