If Commissioner Kelly can change Murray Hill, why not Chelsea?
To The Editor:
Re “NYPD Passes on Precinct Realignment” (news, Jan. 9):
The Council of Chelsea Block Associations (CCBA) — which has been coordinating efforts to change the Police Precinct coverage of the Eastern Chelsea area
(West 14th to 26th Street, 6th to 7th Avenue) from the 13th Precinct to Chelsea’s 10th Precinct — appreciates what you wrote in the last edition of Chelsea Now about the request being denied.
There is one important aspect which was not mentioned. In 1993, the Murray Hill section of Manhattan requested a very similar Police Precinct change, which was approved by Raymond Kelly — the same Raymond Kelly who is our Police Commissioner today. The same approval should have been given to our current Chelsea request.
In a letter to then-Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messenger, Kelly wrote, “To facilitate the police service to that area of Manhattan defined as Murray Hill, the boundaries of the Midtown South and the 17th Precincts have been realigned. A portion of Murray Hill formerly within the confines of the Midtown South Precinct has been transferred to the jurisdiction of the 17th Precinct.”
The area changed was a 12-block tract from East 34th Street to East 40th Street between Lexington and Madison Avenue. Kelly said at that time, “The transferring of the 12 square blocks…unites the Murray Hill neighborhood and allows us to provide them more efficient police service.”
Just substitute the name Chelsea for Murray Hill and fast forward to the present. What we have is Chelsea asking for the same kind of precinct change which Commissioner Kelly approved for another neighborhood.
Kelly’s reasons for denying our request are weak at best. The CCBA appreciates the work of our Police Department and their efforts to serve our community.
However, we and many others continue to believe that changing the Precinct coverage of the blocks in question from the 13th Precinct (which is not located in Chelsea and which basically does not serve Chelsea) to the 10th Precinct (which is in Chelsea and serves all of Chelsea) is the right thing to do and would improve our police services dramatically. The change would also result in better police interaction with our Community Board.
Our efforts to change precincts will continue.
President, The Council of Chelsea Block Associations