Rikers Island reform is working, NYCHA resiliency is happening, and city government is going digital. The Mayor is targeting crime in the Bronx, deer on Staten Island (with the SNL treatment), and mosquitos in city marshes. UPK received national praise, the First Lady drove the mental health conversation in our nation’s capital, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be home to local beer with a national name. The NYPD is prepping for terror, DCAS is making the city greener, DOT is making it safer for bikers, and DDC and DOITT are improving 911.
Rikers Reforms Decrease Violence – During testimony delivered to the City Council last week, DOC Commissioner Joseph Ponte outlined a series of reforms at Rikers Island that have helped drive down inmate injuries and assaults on staff. Commissioner Ponte also highlighted a steep decline in the use of punitive segregation – along with facility upgrades and training enhancements that have helped fuel progress at the jail.
Digital Playbook – The Mayor joined Arianna Huffington at the tech hub Civic Hall to unveil the New York City Digital Playbook, a comprehensive new strategic blueprint outlining how the city will make it easier for residents to access services and use digital tools to strengthen communities.
Deer Population Management on Staten Island – The City has developed an integrated, non-lethal population management plan to combat a dangerously high deer population on Staten Island. The plan includes a three-year surgical sterilization study, a series of improved traffic safety measures, expanded public education, and upgraded natural resource protection infrastructure. Deer overpopulation is a threat to human health and safety through deer-vehicle collisions and tick-borne illnesses. White-tailed deer also pose a challenge to tree regeneration and the preservation of forest biodiversity.
New 911 Building – Located in the Bronx, PSAC II is a new emergency communications 911 call intake and dispatch center. The facility will serve as a parallel operation to PSAC I in downtown Brooklyn, adding critical redundancy and streamlined emergency call and dispatch services for all of the City’s first responders.
Mosquito Control – The Health Department has conducted its first aerial larvicide application of the year, targeting marshes and other non-residential areas of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. The Health Department periodically applies pesticides to the breeding grounds of mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus and could carry the Zika virus. Due to the size and limited accessibility of targeted areas, this is often done using a low-flying helicopter.
NYC’s Auto Fleet Getting Safer & Greener – The Mayor and DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo have announced new steps to improve the City’s safety and sustainability using the 28,000-automobile municipal fleet. The measures include the installation of life-saving truck side guards, a new prohibition on hands-free cell phone use, the first of several electric car orders, and an expansion in the fleet’s use of diesel alternatives.