There is a strong focus on youth at Public Safety. Because the youth population here is relatively small (Roosevelt Island has approximately 2,500 young people between the ages of 1 and 17), many of the Public Safety Department’s officers are familiar with individual island youths. Often we get to know them because they drop in at headquarters and ask for help in sealing a leaking bicycle tire or basketball, to register bicycles or other needs they may have.
The PSD also is involved in many interactive programs for young people, such as the Island’s Youth Center - where RIOC funds two full-time employees - and programs at the 114th Precinct, which has a Community Policing Officer assigned to Roosevelt Island and other areas.
When young people get into trouble, Public Safety does its best to handle each situation professionally and sensitively. Officers, however, must rigorously follow clearly defined procedures issued by various criminal justice agencies.
Minor violations, such as bikes on sidewalks and disturbing the peace, are handled on a case-by-case basis. Our policy is to handle these situations by encouraging the youth to cease the activity and respect others on the Island. But repeated offenses may result in a juvenile report for children under 16. A person 16 and over is considered an adult, and will be subject to adult procedures. The policy of the Department is to contact parents whenever a youth is taken into custody.
In the case of a misdemeanor or felony arrest of children under 16, the Police Department must be contacted. Of course, children who break the law have the same constitutional rights as adults. When a youth is brought in for a misdemeanor or felony charge, his or her parents must be notified, and both the juvenile and the parent or guardian will be given Miranda Warnings, the rights read to an individual upon arrest. The youth can be questioned, with parents or guardian present, in the specially-designated Youth Office at the Public Safety Headquarters.
Misdemeanors, including reckless endangerment, vandalism and graffiti, committed by youths under 16 may result in a New York Police Department Juvenile Report (PD377-151). Once the report is filed, we will notify the parents with a letter, which will include the name and telephone number of the Youth Officer at the 114th Precinct who is assigned to the case. These records are destroyed once the youth reaches age 16.
In felony cases, such as assault, robbery and other serious crimes, we will either notify the Police Department to make an arrest, or, if the arrest is made by our officers, will follow the youth arrest procedures as detailed by the Criminal Justice Bureau and Family Court.
All procedures and correspondence concerning juveniles are strictly confidential, in accordance with Section 381.3 of the Family Court Act.