Notify NYC now offering alerts on Rodman’s Neck bomb squad activities

Residents near the NYPD range and explosive detonation facility at Rodman’s Neck can now sign up for advance warning of detonations.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

A citywide notification system was set up to provide residents of the communities around Rodman’s Neck with advance warning about noisy NYPD bomb squad operations.

The public will now learn in advance about Rodman’s Neck bomb detonations through the Office of Emergency Management’s Notify NYC, a phone and e-mail alert system.

Anyone wanting the notifications, which also will include citywide data and other community-specific information, are welcome to sign up.

Benjamin Krakauer, OEM director of watch command, said that the NYPD range officer at Rodman’s Neck will alert Notify NYC before the detonations occur.

He estimates the notification warnings will go out an hour in advance and the alerts will include a time frame for the detonations.

“We heard from our community outreach that there was some concern in the community that they did not know when there were planned detonations at Rodman’s Neck,” said Krakauer about why the alert system has been put in place.

The messages from the range are now available in zip codes 10461, 10464, 10465, and 10475.

Either call 311 or visit Notify NYC on the OEM website to sign up. Make sure you sign up for the category named ‘significant events,’ said Krakauer.

The agency met with the Community Board 10 Municipal Services Committee on Tuesday, April 12 to discuss protocols for the new alerts.

They also visited the City Island Civic Association, which has been advocating for sound abatement at the range and bomb detonations facilities for two decades, according to board members.

Councilman James Vacca said that he urges people on City Island and throughout CB 10 to sign up for Notify NYC to receive the alerts.

“I think that being pre-warned…is definitely worth signing up for,” said the councilman, who added that Notify NYC would also deliver alerts about citywide events and happenings, but not so frequently as to be a nuisance.

The CICA will continue to advocate for a timetable for the construction of sound remediation devices at the range, but also welcomed the news, said association vice-president Barbara Dolensek.

“We have been assured that it is actually happening, which is good news,” she said of the Notify NYC alerts, adding “It is not going to get rid of the noise, but at least it will give people a heads up.”

Another CICA board member, John Doyle, said that the overall goal of the organization remains getting sound attenuation at the range as soon as possible.

The councilman said that his top goal at the range, which is set to undergo at $150 million renovation and reconstruction, is sound abatement and dealing with lead contamination issues.

Doyle cited disappointment over a long string of promises concerning noise at the range going back two decades, a sentiment that Dolensek shared.

“We are all a little skeptical on a 25-year-old promise,” she said of range sound abatement.

She said she hopes that the planned sound abatement, which the NYPD has confirmed will be part of the project, will occur early on in range reconstruction.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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