We are very distressed over the NYPDs new edict that instructs the citys 77 police precincts to restrict media access to information.Until now, reporters had been able to reach out to individual precincts about local crimes, getting information that forms the basis of the blotters we run each week. We have worked hard to foster our relationship with the NYPD by attending important meetings, by disseminating information that cops need to get out, and by getting our facts straight. Until now, it had been a great relationship that served a dual purpose: the media got the story, and the police got the word out. So why now would this edict go out, that Any requests by media to view complaint reports be referred to the office of the Deputy Commissioner For Public Information (DCPI)? Often, DCPI does not have information on lower-level crimes, which is where the precinct comes in. And while we understand the importance of following protocol, we disagree with the new policy. As of now, some precincts are creating protocols that allow members of the media limited access to information.Nonetheless, we hope that with the appointment of William Bratton as the new police commissioner, the NYPD reconsiders. After all, the best way to solve and stop crime is for the police and the community to work together.THE KIDS LOSE OUT The city of New York has decided that Brooklyns outgoing borough president, Marty Markowitz, cant auction off the numerous pieces of memorabilia he has accumulated during his 12 years in office to benefit Camp Brooklyn, a not-for-profit organization he founded which sends lower-income children to summer camp. It costs $700 per child to give the kids this welcome break, so that the thousands that would be raised by the auction could make more than a few youthful dreams come true.Given the worthiness of the cause, it seems shameful to us that the treasure trove now occupying Borough Hall is destined for storage by the joint ruling of the citys Conflict of Interest Board, Law Department, Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Records, instead of being used to generate funds that can help children enjoy their childhood.Bad call, bureaucrats.
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