Union Says City Water Supply Endangered by Dearth of Officers to Patrol Reservoirs


The union for state environmental police officers on Tuesday demanded more officers to patrol the New York City water supply, charging that the reservoirs were inadequately protected.

“Your drinking water is unsafe because it is unprotected,” said Kenneth Wynder, President of the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent association, at a news conference on the steps of City Hall.

One reservoir, the Hillview in Yonkers, had no patrols at all, Wynder said. “It’s the largest swimming pool” in the area, he added sarcastically and  “the most vulnerable.” He said they sometimes found dead bodies floating there.

The union contended that though the State Department of Environmental Protection supervised officers, hiring decisions were made by the Office of Labor Relations.

The union argued the lack of officers caused security breaches, inadequate electronic surveillance and fewer patrols..

The unions also complained that the officers lacked adequate equipment. “It is totally unreasonable to expect 188 uniformed members  of the Department of Environmental Police to patrol 2,200 square miles of New York City watershed,” said Wynder’

The unions says that some 400 to 500 were needed to do the job properly.

“We get no help. It’s like out of sight, out of mind,” said Wynder.


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