Regional Briefs – January 8, 2018

NYPD Announces New Chief of Department

NEW YORK – NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan will be promoted next week to Chief of Department, the NYPD’s highest-uniformed rank, Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced Monday, along with a dozen other changes at the executive staff level. Assistant Chief Rodney Harrison will become Chief of Patrol.

The changes are being enacted as part of the NYPD’s continuing operational shift toward Neighborhood Policing, its crime-reduction philosophy. The new Neighborhood Policing model is currently in place in 56 of 77 precincts and all nine Housing commands.

Cuomo Decrees That Utilities’ Benefit From Corporate-Tax Reform Be Given to Consumers

NEW YORK – The New York State Public Service Commission is taking steps to ensure that any financial benefit that might be received by New York’s utilities as a result of the federal government’s decision to cut corporate federal income taxes is given to New York utility customers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The Public Service Commission’s regulatory jurisdiction extends over New York’s investor-owned utilities, including six major electric/gas utilities, five major gas utilities, three major water companies, nearly 40 small telephone companies, and hundreds of small water companies.

NYC Pedestrian Fatalities Dropped 32 Percent, Making 2017 Safest Year on Record

NEW YORK –  New York City saw the fewest traffic fatalities on record last year, driven by a 32 percent drop in pedestrian fatalities, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. Since 2013, fatalities have dropped 28 percent. Pedestrian deaths have plummeted by 45 percent. These mark the lowest levels since recordkeeping began in 1910.

In 2017, 214 people, 101 of them pedestrians, were lost in traffic crashes. This compares to 231 total fatalities and 148 pedestrians in 2016.

Drunken Driver Crashes Into Police Car, Injures 2

NEW YORK – Two NYPD officers suffered back injuries Saturday when a drunken cab driver slammed into their cruiser on the Henry Hudson Parkway, The Associated Press reported. The 27-year-old driver was charged with drunk driving.

Pair Uninjured After Plane Makes ‘Hard Landing’

LAFAYETTE, N.J. – The two passengers aboard a single-engine plane escaped injury Sunday after making a “hard landing” in a field several miles from Sussex Airport, The Associated Press reported. The plane was slightly damaged.

Report Calls for Faster Expansion of Pre-K Across NY

ALBANY – New York state must move faster to expand pre-kindergarten, a report released Monday by the left-leaning Alliance for Quality Education said. Last year’s investment resulted in only 476 new slots. They want a lot more money than the $15 million Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed for 2018.

Cuomo Touts Tip Line And Truck Rental ID in Terror Fight

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed requiring people renting heavy vehicles to present two forms of ID and create a three-digit tip line for reporting terror threats. An Islamist killed eight people in October when he drove a rental truck down a bike path.

‘Dago’ Food Truck Wins Federal Lawsuit Over Ban

ALBANY – A federal appeals court ruled that banning a food truck called the “Wandering Dago” from the Capitol complex in Albany was an unconstitutional “viewpoint discrimination,” The Associated Press reported. The word “dago” can be a slur on Italians, but truck operators said it was a tribute to their ancestors.