New York Police Station Contaminated with Asbestos

In Rye, New York, the police headquarters building is undergoing an asbestos cleanup, the second cleanup of the facility since May of this year. The cleanup was ordered after the police union held a “no confidence” vote against the city’s manager and police commissioner because of the building’s condition. The cleanup will involve wiping down and vacuum-cleaning of the station basement and front desk, and the air supply vent for those areas. Recent testing, done at the expense of the police union, showed asbestos particles in the air. In addition, some office equipment in the contaminated area will be discarded. The cleanup work will take two weeks and will cost the city between $30,000 and $40,000. During the cleanup, dispatch operations will be routed through the Rye Brook police station, and Rye officers will work from that location.

President of the Rye Police Union Franco Compagnone said that the city delayed action until the union paid for the additional testing. “I’m satisfied it’s getting done, but it’s the way we had to go about it,” said Compagnone, adding that the union sent the city multiple letters in addition to holding the no-confidence vote. “We’re not demanding; we just want to work in an environment that is safe.” Even after the cleanup, the building, which was constructed in 1936, will need regular asbestos monitoring. The department has plans to renovate the lower level of the station in 2009, and that work may reveal more asbestos contamination.