A solution for Rodman’s Neck

Could temporary baffling and a permanent indoor shooting range finally be coming to Rodman’s Neck? While NYPD officials claim so, community members are doubtful.

On Wednesday, February 26, the 45th Precinct Community Council Rodman’s Neck Monitoring Committee held a meeting where NYPD representatives announced plans to have temporary baffling in place by the end of 2021 and in the next five to eight years construct a permanent indoor shooting range.

In 2017, Mayor de Blasio announced a $275 million redevelopment to Rodman’s Neck, yet nothing has come to fruition since.

Bob Bieder president of the 45th Precinct Council sees this as a step in the right direction, but said ‘do not count the chickens before the eggs hatch.’

“At least we have a vision in sight,” Bieder said.

Joseph Notaro, deputy inspector commanding officer of the facilities management division for NYPD, did his best to assuage the nerves of the attendees. Notaro explained they are preparing the bid for the baffling and should have a contract by the end of the year.

Notaro agreed that this decade-long battle to implement sound baffling needs to come to a final resolution.

“We want to move forward with indoor baffling” Notaro said. “It’s the only way we’re going to mitigate the issue. There’s really no other place to put an operation of this size in NYC. If there’s another place we could go we would explore it. There just really isn’t it.”

Meanwhile John Doyle, a precinct council board member and a City Island community leader, told the Bronx Times he hopes the NYPD keeps its word. He understands the police need to train, but feels there must be a solution sooner rather than later.

“There is a lost of trust with some people because this has been going on for so many years,” Doyle stressed. “Obviously you guys aren’t going anywhere. Everyone on City Island myself included has grown up with you guys being there. Really things we’re dealing with now is how are we going to be good neighbors.”

Doyle, who is a lifelong resident of City Island, said things have gotten progressively worse over time. Since 9/11 police have been training with automatic weapons, which are much louder than arms used in the past.
Furthermore, in 2007 they were told the shooting range was moving to Queens, but those plans fell through.

Doyle also explained that this battle has persisted over four administrations. Mayor David Dinkins promised soundproofing in the 90s, Giuliani and Bloomberg tried and now its on De Blasio.
Councilman Mark Gjonaj was also in attendance. He said this generation-long fight needs to end.

“We’ve gone through this for decades and my fears, their fears, are that administration after administration has pledged to finally end this problem, but the residents of City Island always seemsto get lost,” Gjonaj said. “If this project gets undermined again, it will be a decade before we revisit it again.”

 

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