Back in May, Bucky Turco over at Animal NY discovered a bunch of seemingly rather sensitive NYPD documents — just a counterterrorism plan and whatnot — plopped in a garbage can in front of NYPD’s Manhattan South Task Force station at 42nd Street. He wrote about it (and so did we) hoping to inspire the cops to be a little more careful, maybe even invest in and/or use a shredder. But yesterday, it happened again. Turco discovered “a new batch of papers …. in the same exact place.” At Animal NY, he highlights some of the info contained within the 12-page document, including intelligence-gathering tips, how not to be racist, and how to tell if a suspect is drunk (open alcoholic beverages are a dead giveaway).
Of particular interest is the amount of booze undercover cops can drink on duty: It is best to avoid drinking on duty, FYI, though if one must, “no more than two alcoholic beverages may be consumed…absent exigent circumstances related to the safety of the undercover or to the need not to compromise the undercover’s assignment. Such circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.”
The Daily News talked to NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, who said that such documents should indeed be shredded, even though they don’t appear sensitive, “especially since someone with a lot of time on his hands is going through the garbage there.” Burn.
We spoke to Turco, who told us,
As much as I appreciate a snarky response from the NYPD’s chief of propaganda, I’m more interested in him finally agreeing that this stationhouse should be more careful with their documents and shred them instead of lazily throwing them into a public trash can. The same exact can as last time.
Also, for sake of accuracy. It took all of five seconds to reach in and grab those documents, so his “a lot of time on his hands” comment was brilliantly spun on his part since it made me look like I lurk around there. At this point I assume he’s pre-auditioning for Fox News.
As for why Turco is in Times Square SO MUCH: “I work in the area, so I walk past that stationhouse daily to get to the subway,” he said.
But this all brings up another question. Remember that little old lady who was fined for dumping her personal trash in a city trashcan, because you are not allowed to do that? We contacted the Sanitation Department to find out if the NYPD is somehow exempt from such rules (which also prohibit business trash from being dumped) — and if so, why.
According to DSNY spokesman Keith Mellis, businesses cannot discard trash in public bins. “The baskets out on the street on the sidewalk are for light litter,” like coffee or discarded paper on the way to work — not for “household garbage or commercial establishment garbage,” he said. There’s a $100 fine associated with improper use of a Department of Sanitation basket, with a maximum penalty of $300 for repeat offenders. The trick is, the Sanitation Department has to actually see a person do it. Mellis said, “I truly, truly doubt that NYPD would discard anything of official business in DS trashcan.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2011