2005-03-18 / Community

Addabbo Introduces Public Safety Bills

Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., announced that he has introduced four measures in the Council regarding public safety issues.

Citing possible dangers to the health of city residents, Addabbo said he has cosponsored a resolution in the Council calling on the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to study the long-term effects of living and working near multiple cell phone antennas and base stations. Statistics show that the number of Americans using wireless services has increased more than one thousand percent in the past decade to approximately 135 million users. In order to respond to the growing demand in cellular usage cellular providers have created networks of cell sites using wireless towers or antennas. These antennas are communication devices that receive and transmit radio frequency (“RF”) energy. Addabbo said, “Scientific studies are contradictory and further investigation is needed to confirm the finding by some scientific literature which suggests that exposure to relatively low levels of RF radiation may cause human health hazards.”

Addabbo has also cosponsored a resolution denouncing President Bush’s proposed budgetary reduction in federal homeland security funding and programs for hiring police officers. The proposed cuts include more than $1 billion in loss of funding for vital law enforcement assistance programs that police agencies rely on to protect their communities from crime and terrorism. In addition, funding for the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which provides grants to communities to hire police officers, would be reduced from $499 million to $22 million, greatly hindering community policing efforts. These programs have placed 7,000 much needed police officers on the city’s streets, however, added, “with the President’s proposed budget cut, the city is expected to lose an estimated $70 million, enough to hire more than 900 new police officers.”

Addabbo has cosponsored a bill in the Council which would require the city to issue a Metrocard for easy access to the subway system in the event of an emergency, to all first responders. “Recent incidents have shown why it is important to have emergency responders to have quick and easy access to all parts of the subway system for matters that affect our safety and health”, the councilman stated.

Noting that auxiliary police officers play an important role in the pubic safety of the community, Councilman Addabbo has cosponsored a bill that would empower the city to pay for the funeral expenses of an auxiliary police officer who dies while on duty.

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