Rodman’s Neck questions remain unanswered
BY JASON COHEN
It appears that the decadeslong
saga of Rodman’s Neck is fi -
nally coming to an end.
In June, the NYPD announced
that it will install temporary
baffl ing, a sound proofing
infrastructure, by April 2022
and construct a permanent indoor
shooting range by 2026 at
Rodman’s Neck, a 54-acre police
shooting range on City Island
that is used for handgun and rifl
e practice, and qualifi cation by
the NYPD, the FBI and other law
While the baffl ing pleased
many on the 45th Precinct Community
Council and the Community
Board 10 Rodman’s Neck
Monitoring Committee Meeting,
some questions still remain unanswered.
John Doyle, a precinct council
board member, pointed out
that the police originally said
the whole range would be enclosed,
yet now under the new
plan only 130 out of 150 shooting
points will be indoors. While
they would ultimately like the
range off the island, Doyle said
having 85% of it fully enclosed is
Doyle, a lifelong resident of
City Island, said things have
gotten progressively worse
over time. Since 9/11, police
have been training with automatic
weapons, which are much
louder, he added.
Further, in 2007, residents of
the area were told the shooting
range would move to an indoor
facility in College Point, Queens,
but those plans fell through.
Due to shortages in funding, the
move was canceled and it was
deemed cheaper to renovate Rodman’s
Neck for $275 million.
In July 2020 and July of 2021,
the precinct council submitted
questions to the NYPD which
have remained unanswered, he
Finally, this week, the NYPD
provided some clarity to the
The precinct council wanted
to know if the Notify NYC app
could add a notifi cation for when
live explosive devices are en
route to Rodman’s Neck. Bombs
throughout the city are often
According to police, Notify
NYC is used specifi cally to notify
City Island residents that
some action is going to take
place that “may” result in a detonation.
NYPD spokesman Brendan
Riley said notifi cations will not
be made solely involving the
transportation or delivery of
hazardous devices to the facility
for operational security issues.
Another concern is that
many City Island residents have
complained that they can hear
the public announcement system
from the shooting range in
their homes. These announcements
are often as early as 7 a.m.
The NYPD said it is extremely
of the shooters and line instructors
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important for the safety
that they hear instructions
Doyle believes there must be
a quieter way that won’t disrupt
the quality of life on the island.
“They can use walkie talkies.
If we’re building a 21st century
range, then technology should
change with it,” he said.
The precinct council asked
the NYPD what agency they
work with to ensure environmental
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from the PA system clearly.
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compliance at the site
and what their role is in this process.
According to police, the primary
enforcement agency is New
York State Department of Environmental
In 2018, three inspections
found high lead levels. The range
was closed temporarily, but since
reopening, the NYPD has allegedly
collected soil samples.
However, the NYPD has not
revealed the results.
The NYPD said as part of its
soil stabilization and lead management,
it removes lead from the
ranges by sifting soil and adding
a bonding agent to immobilize
lead migration into groundwater.
This requires testing of soil
and groundwater wells for particulate
and dissolved lead. These
testing results are sometimes requested
by DEC, according to police,
but are not a compliance requirement.
But DEC spokesman Kevin
Frazier said there is no project at
the facility for which DEC would
request sampling results, nor is
DEC reviewing any permit application
for proposed work there.
“It’s like they’re punting,”
Doyle said referring to the agencies
not taking responsibility.
“They’re trying to put the blame
on another agency. This is why
people feel skeptical about 1 Police
A bomb detonating on Rodman’s Neck. Photo Barbara Burn Dolensek