Council Member Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) and Minority Leader Steve Matteo (R-Mid Island) penned a letter to New York City Council Criminal Justice Chair, Keith Powers, and Council Speaker Corey Johnson calling for an oversight hearing into the violent brawl at the Bronx Juvenile Justice Center which left 20 City Correction officers injured.
The leadership of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (COBA), including President Elias Husamudeen, have suggested that the protocols and procedures necessary to ensure the safety of the officers are not in place and that the facility is too dangerous to continue operating.
“We cannot expect people to be able to do their jobs if we aren’t providing them with the tools that the job requires,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “The City has been playing politics with Correction officers’ lives for some time now and we’ve been warning that something terrible was going to happen. Twenty officers being injured in one incident is that something. Had hundreds of city employees in any other facility be injured in a given year, whether it be an elementary school or a sanitation garage, the full weight of the city would be behind those workers. It’s time we take responsibility for safety at Rikers Island and in D.O.C. facilities like Horizon.”
“The escalating violence at the Horizon Juvenile Center this week is extremely alarming. The reasonable thing to do is hit the pause button, figure out what went wrong and how the city can fix it – because the safety of our correction officers and inmates should be paramount,” said Minority Leader Steve Matteo.
“It should be obvious now to everyone that Mayor de Blasio’s Administration has lied about Horizon being ready to operate safely, as over 25 Correction Officers have been assaulted there within just several days. These officers join the over 2,000+ Cos assaulted by inmates at other DOC facilities since 2014. We welcome the City Council’s upcoming oversight hearing during which the COBA will demand emergency legislation be introduced to protect correction officers, just as the Council introduces legislation to protect the inmates,” said Elias Husamudeen, COBA President.