Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Armed Bank Robbers Dressed as Employees:

Police are searching for two armed robbers in a bank robbery on Long Island Monday night.

Two armed men walked into the Chase bank branch on Main Street in East Rockaway, moments after the last customer left for the night, according to police.

One of the men was dressed as a FedEx employee, and the other was dressed as a Chase bank employee. The two accosted three bank workers, tied their hands and forced them to the vault filled with cash.

"One subject took the personal banker into his office and kept him there at gunpoint," said Kenneth Lack of the Nassau County Police Department. "The other subject brought the other two employees to the vault where they had the bank manager open the safe."

The suspects made off with an undetermined amount of cash.

None of the employees were hurt.

(By: NBCNewYork)

2 Shot in Brooklyn Store, Including Boy

A man and a 12-year-old boy were shot inside a sneaker store in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn Monday evening, police said.

According to police, two people started arguing in the Rugged Sole store at Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue when one of them pulled out a gun and fired shots. 

The boy and the man were bystanders and hit in the gunfire.

The 34-year-old man is in serious condition after being shot in the upper body, police said. The boy was shot in the leg and is in stable condition.

Both were taken to Kings County Hospital. Police are still looking for the alleged gunman, believed to be 21 years old.

Hussain Mahdi, who owns a beauty supply store across the street, said a customer came running in after the shooting because she "was so scared."

Mahdi said shootings weren't uncommon in the area.

"It's bad," he said. "It happened all the time, the shooting and a lot of things. I've been in the business a long time, but this is the worst area I've ever seen."

(By: NBCNewYork)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brooklyn leads city in total murders

Brooklyn remains the city's bloodiest borough — accounting for about 38% of last year's murders, NYPD statistics released Friday show.

In delivering an analysis of last year's homicides, the NYPD revealed that there have been 136 murders this year — a reduction of 20% from the same period last year. But shootings are up 6% this year.

Of the 515 homicides last year, about 196 occurred in Brooklyn, mostly in a cluster of neighborhoods that include Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and East New York.

The borough's numbers are down slightly from 2010, when Brooklyn topped the charts with 42% of the city's 536 murders.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Thursday that a host of tactics — including a partnership with local clergy to host gun buyback programs — has been used to combat crime in the borough.

"Due in part to this relationship, murders in Brooklyn North fell by 13% last year, more than three times the citywide rate of decline," Kelly said.

The Bronx logged about 29% of last year's murders — slightly less than Manhattan and Queens combined, the report shows. Only 3% of the slayings were committed on Staten Island.

The report also shows a significant racial disparity in the killings.

About 62% of all victims were black, although that demographic makes up about 23% of the city's population, the report shows.

About 38% of murder victims were black men between 16 and 37 years old, the stats show.

The records also show that nearly 75% of all victims had prior arrests and about 11% were confirmed gang members.

One in five homicide victims were women, 54% of them killed in domestic violence incidents, stats show.

BY:NY Daily News) 

Inmate Commits Suicide at North NJ Police Station

Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli says a man being held at the Hackensack police station committed suicide.

The man, whose name was not disclosed, was found around 6:30 p.m. Friday in a holding cell. It was not clear why the man was in custody or how long he had been in custody.
Molinelli says the man used a T-shirt to hang himself, but further details on the death were not disclosed Saturday morning.
Molinelli says the death is under investigation, which is standard policy when a person dies while in custody.


Man in Critical Condition After Jumping From a Cab on the Upper West Side

UPPER WEST SIDE — A man was seriously injured after he leaped from a taxi cab at a busy Upper West Side intersection early Friday morning, authorities said.

The man, 21, was sitting in the back seat of a cab at 5 a.m., when the driver says he opened the door and jumped out onto Columbus Avenue near West 72nd Street, police said.

"He just opened the door and jumped out of the back seat," said a police spokesman. The man suffered serious head trauma as a result, police said.

"This guy just jumped out of the cab for whatever reason," the spokesman said.

The victim was taken to Roosevelt Hospital in traumatic arrest, FDNY officials said, and he continued to be in critical condition on Saturday, police said.

It was not immediately clear why the man jumped from the vehicle.

Editor's Note: Based on early FDNY reports, DNAinfo.com New York originally reported on May 18 that the man was injured after he had been struck by a car. Police later said he had jumped from the moving cab.

By: DNAinfo.com

Cyclist Dies After He Crashes Into Correction Department Bus

A biker died in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx Thursday after he crashed into a city Department of Correction bus.

Police say Raylin Heredia-Delacruz, 23, was riding a motorcycle on Longfellow Avenue when he collided with the bus at an intersection.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities say the 11 inmates were on the bus at the time were transferred to another vehicle.

By late Thursday, no charges had been filed.

(By: NY1 News)

Kelly: NYPD Will Retrain Officers In Stop-And-Frisk Policy

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was grilled by members of the City Council Thursday over the department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, says the department will make changes to the policy and retrain officers. 

Several City Council members aggressively questioned Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about the department's stop-and-frisk policy Thursday, telling him it does not work.

A day after a federal judge approved a class action suit over stop and frisk, Kelly told council members he realizes it's a sensitive issue. He outlined what he said would be ways to prevent officers from wrongfully stopping people while still trying to get guns of the street.

He says the NYPD will retrain officers and stress that racial profiling is prohibited. He said the department is also coming up with a plan to determine if officers are over-using the procedure.

"We are first training our impact officers, but we will be training other patrol officers as well," he said.

The NYPD is also developing a video to show officers how stopping, questioning and frisking should be done. Kelly said the executive officer in each precinct will keep track of stop and frisks.

Kelly says the police department will also be involved in more outreach programs. an effort to strengthen the relationship between officers and the community.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said it is a good first step.

"I want to thank the commissioner, but I want to be clear that more work needs to be done," she said. "We will continue that work because 700,000 stop-and-frisks is simply too many."

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said the new procedures are only a band-aid approach.

"The biggest thing to take home is, not only is it racist and prejudicial, it is ineffective by their own numbers," he said. "I don't know what use you would need to say this is a program that needs to be reformed."

The police commissioner said there will not be a complete revamping because he says stop-and-frisk keeps crime down.

Meanwhile, members of the group 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement held a public meeting in the Fordham section of the Bronx on Thursday night to advise residents how to "survive" a stop-and-frisk incident with police.

The retired police officers said at the meeting that police are often trained to interpret gestures as "probable cause" for such a search.

They also advised residents to remain respectful when they are being approached and questioned by police, and to wait to filed complaints against officers with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. 

(By: Dean Meminger NY1 News)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Car Strikes Bus Then Pole in Fatal Brooklyn Crash

BAY RIDGE — A New Jersey driver with a 3-year-old girl in the back seat lost control of his SUV in  Saturday afternoon, colliding with a city bus before fatally smashing into a utility pole.

The driver of the 2003 Chevy Trailblazer was identified by police as Adam Nicholson, 40, of Manalapan, N.J. Emergency responders pronounced him dead on the scene. 

Police said that Nicholson had been headed southbound on Seventh Avenue in Bay Ridge when it appears he lost control of the vehicle around 2:28 p.m.

An MTA bus, a B70, was headed northbound, and had stopped at a traffic light on Seventh Avenue at the intersection of 92nd Street, said Dierdre Parker, a spokeswoman for the MTA.

The bus driver said he had swerved to avoid a head-on collision with the Trailblazer, which came through the intersection for unknown reasons. The Trailblazer first sideswiped the city bus, and then smashed into a utility pole, both on Nicholson's side.

Responders at the scene found the tiny rear passenger in the Trailblazer, a 3-year-old girl, unharmed in her child's seat, police said. No injuries were reported on the bus.

A police investigation is ongoing, but there is no criminality suspected at this time. A medical examiner's report had not been completed by Sunday afternoon.

By: DNAinfo

Hit-And-Run Driver Kills Queens Pedestrian

Police were searching Sunday for a hit-and-run driver who they say killed a pedestrian in South Richmond Hill, Queens early that morning.

Authorities say Rohan Singh, 47, was crossing the intersection of 108th Street and Liberty Avenue around 3 a.m. when he was struck.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police say the involved driver was behind the wheel of a dark-colored sedan.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

By: NY1 News

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kelly: Lack of Info Sharing in Underwear Plot

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD hasn't been briefed on the specifics of the thwarted underwear bomb plot operation, which he said is the type of information the city needs as a top terror target.

"This is the type of information quite frankly, that we need, we deserve, in the nation's biggest target," Kelly said Friday.

Officials have said the discovery of the unexploded bomb this week represented an intelligence prize resulting from a covert CIA operation in Yemen, saying that the intercept thwarted a suicide mission around the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Speaking Friday after a memorial service at Police Plaza, Kelly said he wasn't frustrated or irritated by the lack of information, but that he'd like to get the specifics "as soon as possible" in order to "protect the city."

"We'd like to know the specifics of the device, the materials used, where those materials may be obtained -- common sense things," the commissioner said. 

Though the plot had no direct link to New York, the city remains one of the top terror targets in the world, Kelly and FBI officials have said. It's already been the site of two successful terrorist attacks and multiple attempts, including a botched effort to detonate a car bomb in Times Square two years ago. 

Kelly said there was different information floating around about the underwear bomb, but the NYPD has not seen photos or been given details. He said the department would be interested in knowing where such a device could be obtained, for example.

Kelly said he'd hope to get the specifics through the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

A law enforcement official told NBC New York that none of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force members across the country have been briefed on the specifics of the plot or the material contained within the so-called underwear bomb. 

Another official said most of the information authorities have relied on has come from published information, which the official said has been partially inaccurate. 

According to reports, the device did not contain metal, meaning it probably could have passed through an airport metal detector. But it was not clear whether new body scanners used in many airports would have detected it. 

The device is an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. Officials said the new bomb was also designed to be used in a passenger's underwear, but this time al-Qaida developed a more refined detonation system.

By: NBCnewYork

Couple With No Cell Service Dies After Wreck

An elderly Manhattan couple whose car became stuck near their wooded Catskills vacation home died after nine fruitless attempts to make a cell phone call for help and after the woman searched in vain for a neighbor.

Arthur Morris, 88, slid their car down an embankment 60 feet from their vacation home on May 3 in Andes, according to state police and relatives.

Family members told the Daily News that Morris tried to get out but became wedged between the tilted car and the ground and was asphyxiated. His wife, 89-year-old Madeleine, walked with her cane to an empty neighbor's house and died of exposure after a rainy night under a tarp.

"She walked a quarter-mile to the neighbor's house and there was no one there," grandson Jeantet Fields told the newspaper. "It was a vacation house and they had left the day before."

Cell service is spotty in the rural area and calls made by the couple to 911, their son and a neighbor did not go through.

Hunters found the husband's body the next day and searchers soon after found the wife's body on a neighbor's patio, according to police.

Arthur was a Juilliard-educated music teacher who had heart disease and a hernia. Madeleine was a retired professor who survived the Nazi occupation in France and had two knee replacements, the News reported.

"What really has me choked up the most is the circumstances they died in," Fields said. "Given the lives they lived, they should have had a better way out than that."

By: NBCnewYork

Police Searching for Missing Kips Bay Teen

MANHATTAN — Police are urgently searching for a missing Kips Bay teenager who suffers from depression and has threatened suicide.

Jake Seaton was last seen inside his Kips Bay apartment about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.  

Jake, of 141 E. 33rd St., is described as 5-feet-9, 135 pounds with green eyes and black hair. 

He was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt, dark jeans and black sneakers.

Jake was carrying his guitar in a large black case.

He was also wearing a backpack — black and grey, with some orange, that had been mostly covered over with black magic marker.

Seaton's family has set up a Facebook page to to spread the word about his disappearance and share information.

Anyone who has seen Jake or has information is asked to call the 17th Precinct Detective Squad at 212-826-3206.

The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  Tips can be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website,www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then entering TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.   

By: DNAinfo

Motorcyclist Dies in Fatal Brooklyn Collision

A 47-year-old man died after his motorcycle smashed into a car just before 8 p.m. Friday night in Brooklyn. He was just four blocks from his Bedford-Stuyvesant home.

Police said the cyclist, Barron Sanders, was found lying on the ground at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Park Avenue in Bushwick with severe head trauma at 7:49 p.m.

Friends and neighbors outside of Sanders's home on Marcy Avenue said the place where the accident occurred is not known as a dangerous intersection.

A woman who identified herself as family friend, Debra Clinton, said Sanders was just about to enter fatherhood.

"He and his wife were expecting their first child. They just had a baby shower. He's never gonna see his little girl. And on top of this, it's Mother's Day tomorrow," she said. She described him as "a lovable, friendly guy."

"He was a very special man and everyone will miss him badly," she added.

According to police, Sanders was driving his 2008 Kawasaki motorcycle eastbound on Park Avenue when a man, 68, driving a black 2007 Chevy Impala sedan, traveling westbound on Park Avenue at the intersection of Marcus Garvey Boulevard (which is also called Sumner Avenue). 

Police said the driver of the black sedan remained at the scene, and that there is no criminality suspected at this time. Police say the investigation is ongoing.

Sanders was transported to Kings County Hospital, and pronounced dead on arrival.

Police inspect motorcycle

Police Seek Parking Garage Car Thief

MANHATTAN — Police have released a video of a suspect they say has stolen two vehicles and cash, one time at knifepoint, from two city parking garages.

The suspect is estimated to be 25 years old, is 6-foot-1 to 6-foot-4 inches tall, and weighs from 275 to 300 pounds.

In both incidents, the suspect wore tan pants, green sweatshirt, a black back pack and a red & white knit cap.

The first robbery took place at 9:10 p.m. on Friday, May 4, when the suspect entered Central Parking Garage, at 405 East 63rd St. and demanded the parking attendant hand over the keys to the Volkswagen Jetta the victim had just parked.

The attendent did as told, and the suspect then emptied the attendent's pockets, and fled with the Jetta.

Two days later, on Sunday, May 6, at 3:10 p.m., the suspect, armed with a knife, entered the Empire Parking Garage, demanding money from the parking attendent.

Again, he asked for keys to a vehicle that had just been parked, this time to a Range Rover.

The attendant complied, and the suspect fled with the money and the SUV.

There were no reported injuries in either incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, log ontowww.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES) and enter TIP577.

By: DNAinfo

Body found after Queens fire

A severely burned body was found after an early morning trash fire in a Queens park.

Firefighters were called to Forest Park in Woodhaven at about 5:54 a.m. After putting out the flames, they found the body.

Police had set up a crime scene around the fire scene in the woods near some tennis courts.

Authorities say it's unclear if the victim was intentionally set on fire or if he was dead prior to the fire being set.

The medical examiner is working to discover the cause of death.

NYPD officer arrested for assault

The New York City Police Department is reporting the arrest of one of its officers.

Deevan Dyal, 36, was arrested Saturday morning at 5:55 a.m. He was arrested in Brooklyn.

The police report said that he was off duty when the incident occurred. Dyal was charged with assault.

No other details surrounding the arrest were released.

By: MyFoxNY.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

NYPD investigating slashed tires on Staten Island

Police say they are looking for whoever is slashing car tires in a residential area of Staten Island.

They say vandals have struck twice this week in the borough's Stapleton section.

On Thursday, police say a line of cars, from Grant to Swan streets, had their tires slashed.

Nine other incidents of slashed tires were reported on Monday near the intersection of Beach and Van Duzer streets.

A police spokesman told the Staten Island Advancethat police were increasing plainclothes patrols and urging residents to call 911 if they see something suspicious.

By: NYpost

Knife-Wielding Man Shot by Police Dies

A Queens man was shot and killed by police officers Thursday night after he refused to drop a knife he used to stab himself and critically injure his wife, according to law enforcement sources.

Police were called to the building in Oakland Gardens at about 8:30 p.m. after an 18-year-old woman called 911 to report her father was stabbing himself, according to sources.

By the time officers arrived, the man was out in the building's courtyard, stabbing his wife, sources said.

The police officers ordered him to drop the knife, but he refused, according to sources. Officers fired shots and the man was fatally hit in the chest. He and the woman were taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The woman remains in critical condition with multiple stab wounds. 

The investigation is ongoing.

By: NBCnewYork

Fort Lee cops ticket texting pedestrians

We all know you shouldn't text while driving, but in Fort Lee, N.J., you also shouldn't text while walking. If you're caught doing it in the street you could get a ticket.

Cops say some of the biggest jaywalking culprits are people who text and walk.

"It's a big distraction," Fort Lee Police Chief Thomas Ripoli said. "pedestrians aren't watching where they're walking, they're not aware."

Fort Lee police are stepping up patrols and are on the lookout for dangerous walkers: people who aren't paying attention and aren't following the rules of the road. And they're not hard to find.

Police say before they put their foot down and started handing out tickets they distributed fliers warning dangerous walkers to think before they walk. But with the increase in technology they say there is an increase in distracted walking. More than 20 pedestrians have been hit by cars so far this year in the borough.

Chief Ripoli said this crackdown is all about safety.

In just the past month and a half, police have issued 117 tickets for jaywalking.

Some people said they'll pay the fine and that it may not stop them from texting while walking.

By: MyFoxNY.com

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FDNY: Record Number Of Diverse Applicants Took Latest Test

The New York City Fire Department is touting its recruitment campaign after releasing numbers Tuesday that show a record number of minority and women applicants took this year's firefighter exam.

Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano says more than 19,000 minorities took the test -- a 130 percent increase from the last time the test was given in 2007.

Nearly 2,000 women took the exam, which is more than the number of women who took the previous three tests combined.

"We did not just rest on our laurels after our success in 2006 campaign for the 2007 test," Cassano said. "We went out to churches, we went out to schools, we visited military installations, community centers, and set up on sidewalks throughout the city and did an incredible job of recruiting firefighters."

The FDNY held 6,000 recruiting events and spent $1 million on advertising in more than 60 communities.

A total of more than 42,000 people took the exam.

By: NY1 News

Monday, May 7, 2012

verizon-lgearing up to deliver text to 911 capabilities

Verizon has selected a vendor that will help the company deliver the ability to text 911 emergency services, The Hill has learned. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski commended the company for the move.

By accepting texts in this way, in lieu of a phone call, Verizon could set the stage for those with either speaking or hearing disabilities to have access to the same services that others have had, via voice, for decades. Verizon views the move as a 'continuation' of its policies towards assisting its customers with emergency communication.

The company described its actions in the following way: "Verizon is at the forefront of 911 public-safety innovations, and today's announcement is another step in making SMS-to-911 service available to those who cannot make a voice call to 911."

Such a service would be technologically open, as the only requirement is a phone that can send texts, something that any phone sold today, smart or feature, is capable of doing.

The service should launch in the first two quarters of next year, starting with only certain areas of its network.

Cops Shoot Knife-Wielding Man In East 65th Street Apartment

UPPER EAST SIDE — A man holding his mother at knifepoint in an East 65th Street apartment was shot by cops Monday, officials said.

The man was holding a knife to his mother about 2:15 p.m. in apartment at 408 East 65th Street, police and fire officials said.

That's when police were forced to shoot the man, police said.

An FDNY spokesman said the man and a woman in her 60s were taken to New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Their conditions were unknown, but a police source said their injuries were not life-threatening.

A police officer suffered a minor injury, too, and was also taken to the same hospital, the FDNY spokesman said.

By: DNAinfo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brooklyn boy dies after being trapped in a gate

Police say a 12-year-old boy was playing a game of "chicken" on a parking lot gate in Brooklyn when it accidentally rolled up and crushed him to death.

Neighbors said Yakima McDaniels was going up and down on the rolling gate but suddenly instead of jumping off as the gate rose again; he hung on until his head got caught between it and its metal frame 20 feet above the ground.

Apparently the rules of "chicken" are to ride on the gate when it goes up and then jump off. Sources told the New York Post the jump gets more difficult as the gate rises. The last one to jump off the gate wins.

The incident happened at 230 Lott Avenue in Crown Heights as the unidentified boy suffered injuries to his head and shoulders. He was taken by EMS to Brook dale Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

City councilman Charles Barron said this incident shows why there need for recreational facilities in East New York.

(Photo By 911BUFF)

Three Charged With Armed Central Park Robbery

Three people were arrested in connection with an armed robbery in Central Park on Saturday night.

Timm Darby, 16; Naquan Simmons, 17; and Nikki Morales, 20, are charged with robbery, weapons possession and stolen property.

Police say the trio robbed a man and woman at gunpoint near the reservoir, taking their wallets and cell phones.

Officers were able to track down the suspects and arrest them.

The officers found a loaded .380 caliber gun in one of the suspect's pockets.

The victims were not hurt.

By: NY1 News

NYC Cop Arrested on DWI Charge in Brooklyn

A New York City police officer was arrested shortly after midnight Sunday, charged with driving while intoxicted and refusal to take a breath test, NYPD says.

Ronald Gonzalez, 41, was arrested at about 12:30 a.m. in NYPD's 84th Precinct, which encompasses Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Vinegar Hill and the Farragut Residences in downtown Brooklyn.

DCPI would not release details surrounding Gonzalez's arrest, but said the officer has been suspended from his job.

By: NBCnewyork

Saturday, May 5, 2012

SUV Reverses into Construction Shed and Brick Wall in Brooklyn Heights

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — An SUV accidentally reversed through a construction shed and smashed into a brick wall Remsen Street Saturday morning, officals said.

The driver of the 1997 Ford SUV was maneuvering the vehicle and apparently put it in reverse when he intended to go forward, workers at the scene told DNAinfo.com New York.

The driver accelerated through the supports of a construction shed outside 98 Remsen St. and then plowed into a brick wall attached to the landmarked building in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, officials said.

The one-block stretch of Henry Street was closed off for several hours as a crew from Pilku Construction — which was approved for work on the house by the Landmarks Preservation Commission back in January — attempted to secure the scaffolding.

"Everything is safe," said Willy Pilku, 25, the manager for Pilku Construction overseeing the work. "It's just a little piece [that was hit]. We're just securing it. Once it's secure, they can tow the car. Once they tow the car we can rebuild it."

Both the driver and the building owner declined to comment.

By: DNAinfo

Police Investigate Deadly Shooting At S.I. Housing Complex

Police on Staten Island were investigating an early morning shooting Saturday that left one teen dead and three others wounded.

The New York City Police Department says officers were called to the Mariners Harbor Houses on Brabant Street around 4:30 a.m. and found four men who had been shot, including Justin Stokes, 19, who was hit in the torso.

Stokes was pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center.

The other three victims - ranging in age from 24 to 30 - were shot in the legs, backside, and torso and were also taken to the hospital.

By Saturday evening, a 26-year-old victim was listed in critical condition and no arrests had been made.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

By:NY1 News

Friday, May 4, 2012

Report: Problems in NYC 911 System

New York City's 911 system is troubled by delays and errors that could leave callers without help for crucial seconds in an emergency, while the FDNY and NYPD aren't prepared for the surge in calls that would come with a massive crisis such as a terrorist attack, according to a consultant's report.

The report also suggested City Hall managers were given manipulated data on the system.

Mayor Bloomberg's office released an edited version of the report on Friday. His administration is fighting legal efforts to force it to release earlier versions, and it was not immediately clear how the document had been altered from its draft form. 

The report, initially prepared by outside consultants hired by the city, found that call operators waste time on duplicate questions and employ inconsistent questioning procedures. The system, it found, sends some responders to the wrong address and slows fire and medical dispatchers' efforts to give instructions to callers.

The report follows a years-long overhaul of the system that included a new $680 million call center that combined the operations of police, fire and medical dispatchers. City officials have said the update improved response times, eliminated inefficiencies and reduced confusion for callers, but Friday's report seemed to call some of those statements into question.

"Statistical information provided to City Hall management to demonstrate the success of the (Unified Call Taking) project contained errors and does not provide a clear picture of the effectiveness of UCT related business processes," the report said.

Unions representing the city's firefighters contend the changes that came with the overhaul caused delays that have been concealed by an accompanying change in how the city calculates its fire response times. City officials dispute that. Because the city has never tracked 911 calls from the moment a caller connects with an operator, it is difficult to tell who is right.

In the report released Friday, the consultants called on the city to change its approach and begin the response-time clock earlier.

"Industry best practices define Public Safety Response Time as the total time from the point a 911 call is made to the arrival of the responding units," the report said.

The consultants also found instances in which the city's fire and police departments failed to work together. The agencies developed their plan to deal with a surge of calls in a crisis without collaborating, even though such an incident usually requires a multi-agency response, the report said. Additionally, the Fire Department's emergency medical managers weren't involved in the development of procedures for police call-takers who now handle medical calls.

"NYPD call takers did not receive adequate training for (Unified Call Taking) responsibilities and are not proficient at handling FDNY related activity," said the report, which also found that fire dispatch personnel were inadequately trained.

In March, the city's comptroller issued an audit criticizing the city for its handling of the entire project, which includes the ongoing creation of a second back-up center. The comptroller said the project was $1 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. But Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway attacked the report as misleading, disputing the figures and arguing that most of the cost increase was due to a strategic decision to build a backup call center from the ground up.

The city has appealed a judge's ruling that it must release the earlier drafts of the report. The case is pending in court.

By: NBCnewyork

5-Story Building Collapses in Harlem

A five-story brownstone collapsed in Harlem Friday afternoon.

Officials said the building at 110 West 23rd Street, near Lenox Avenue,  "pancaked," meaning all the floors fell onto each other.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or people trapped.

By: NBCnewyork )