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Reviewing the NYPD website, It’s really hard to understand who’s protecting Hell’s Kitchen.
The website stresses that New York City has 77 police precincts and they “are divided into sectors that correspond, as much as possible, with the boundaries of actual established neighborhoods.” Hell’s Kitchen is split between 3 precincts and home to the heavily armed Strategic Response Group on W42nd Street.
If you look at our social media pages, you will find our readers pleading for help to make Hell’s Kitchen safe again. Marisa Redanty of the newly formed Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Action Committee explains their actions: “We are focused on achieving consistent relief to our community from petty crime, drug dealing, open drug use. To re-establish safe streets, safe for businesses and residents.”
Here goes on an explanation of NYPD’s presence in Hell’s Kitchen — but be aware this is going to sound like a “Who’s on First Base?” comedy sketch.
10th Precinct: The 10th Precinct serves Chelsea, Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen South and the Hudson Yards neighborhoods. The precinct is home to the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Chelsea Piers, Chinese Consulate, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Their base is at 230 W20th Street.
Midtown South Precinct: As its name implies, the Midtown South Precinct serves the southern portion of Midtown, Manhattan. The area contains commercial offices, hotels, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Koreatown section, and the Manhattan Mall Plaza.
Their base is at 357 W35th Street.
Midtown North Precinct: The Midtown North Precinct serves the area of Midtown, Manhattan, just south of Central Park. The precinct encompasses the Diamond District, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Theatre District, Restaurant Row, Radio City Music Hall, and Rockefeller Plaza.
Their base is at 306 W54th Street.
Strategic Response Group: Strategic Response Group responds to citywide mobilizations, civil disorders, and major events with highly trained personnel and specialized equipment. They are also deployed to areas requiring an increased police presence due to increased crime or other conditions. With multiple missions that include disorder response, crime suppression, and crowd control, SRG has proven to be a critical asset during events like parades, protests, and the papal visit. SRG also mobilizes for shootings, bank robberies, missing persons, demonstrations, or other significant incidents.
Their base is 524 W42nd Street.
When I contacted the NYPD for comment, I had two simple questions:
1. If we see something that’s not an emergency, but we believe police should respond, at W43rd Street and 9th Avenue (currently known as a drug dealing/crime hotspot), who should we call?
2. The Strategic Response Group “are also deployed to areas requiring an increased police presence due to increased crime or other conditions.” Does that mean they can react to things that are happening next door to them at the Cachet Boutique hotel?
To get answers, we contacted the Neighborhood Coordination Officers at the North Midtown, South Midtown and 10th Precincts plus the Chief of Special Operations. Only one of them replied and said: “Unfortunately, I am unable to comment or give interviews regarding the situation. You can contact the Deputy Commissioner of Public information regarding any input from the Police Department.”
We have contacted the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. As we publish this article at 8am on Sunday July 12, 2020, we have had no response. [Please note: up to today, in 6 years of publishing W42ST magazine (and multiple requests) NYPD has only replied to us once. That time, they turned down our request to interview a school crossing guard who had been nominated as a Hero in our W42ST Best of Awards 2020!]
We will update this story below with any response.