Alliance Honors Security Officers Who Go Above and Beyond the Call
The Downtown Alliance continued a decades-long tradition on Thursday by honoring members of its Public Safety Officer program who have rendered meritorious service in the last year. In a ceremony held at the White Horse Tavern on Bridge Street, Alliance president Jessica Lappin observed, “this is one of my favorite yearly traditions because our Public Safety team has a positive impact on our neighborhood every day, in so many different ways. They serve as our eyes and ears on the street and continually make a difference.”
Among the 2023 honorees were Supervisor Francisco Rosario and Officer Nyeisha Als, who launched a search for a missing 12-year-old boy at Bowling Green on March 16, 2022. When the child’s mother told Mr. Rosario that her son had an Apple watch, the offers were able to pinpoint his location using the Find My app, and reunite the child with his mother.
Last September, Officer Nathan Turner was on patrol at the Bowling Green train station, when he came to the aid of an elderly man, who had been slashed in the face with a machete. Mr. Turner was able to ascertain that the female perpetrator was still in the station, and assisted MTA police officers in identifying her, which led to her arrest.
On the afternoon of June 30, Officer Darrell Joseph was approached by the manager of Bobby Van’s Steakhouse on Broad Street, who requested assistance with a man who was acting erratically in the restaurant’s outdoor dining area. When the man became violent, the Alliance’s dispatch center summoned the NYPD, which took him to Bellevue Hospital for observation.
Officer Theresa Seignious came the assistance of a man in distress on a Lower Manhattan street on the morning of July 22. When it was determined that he was having a heart attack, Ms. Seignious called for an ambulance, which took him to NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital for treatment.
Supervisor Shawn Soto was flagged down last November by a man who was bleeding from his face, and explained that he had been the victim of a robbery. Mr. Soto worked with officers from the NYPD First Precinct to launch a canvas of the area, which led to the arrest of a suspect a few minutes later.
The Alliance’s 40 safety and security personnel undergo a level of training that some might find surprising. Several have attended multi-week programs provided by the New York Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In the nearly 20 years that the Alliance has been fielding Public Safety Officers, crime in Lower Manhattan has dropped considerably and the residential population has nearly doubled. The group’s mission has also changed with the times. Today, in addition to counterterrorism training, the Alliance’s public safety team is coached on providing Lower Manhattan’s millions of annual tourists with directions, district maps, and recommendations on local attractions. They also respond as a unit to grave crises, such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, when eight officers remained at their posts for 72 consecutive hours, providing crucial on-the-ground updates in real time about weather conditions, street closures, and flood impacts in Lower Manhattan.
The mission of the Downtown Alliance—manager of the business improvement district, or BID, that serves the area from City Hall to the Battery, and from the East River to West Street—is to enhance Lower Manhattan for businesses, residents, and visitors. Among the services provided by the Alliance that Lower Manhattan residents especially prize is the Downtown Connection bus, which shuttles passengers free of charge, seven days a week, between 35 local stops that link Lower Manhattan residential neighborhoods with business and shopping districts.