Bed bugs were recently found in the NYPD’s 120th Precinct lockup in Staten Island, after a prisoner complained he’d seen the pests.
SILive.com reports that
The brass at the precinct looked into it, and “there were some critters found in the area where the cell attendant works,” according to one NYPD insider.
That led police to fumigate the cells on Wednesday, but it didn’t take — when prisoners started returning to the cells about 7 p.m., another bedbug complaint forced cops to shut the cells down again an hour later, police sources said.
Didn’t the pest management professionals brought in mention that it was completely normal to see bed bugs after treatment — and that more than one treatment is usually necessary for bed bugs?
The prisoners are not sticking around the 120th, however, having been rerouted to a precinct in Coney Island.
According to SILive.com,
The situation also has attracted the interest of the city Department of Correction, which is sending an exterminator into the holding cell area of the Stapleton Criminal Court, where criminal defendants are taken after being held at the precinct station.
“We are aware of concerns in the Staten Island 120 Precinct regarding bedbugs,” wrote Correction spokeswoman Sharman Stein in an e-mailed statement yesterday. “DOC will have an exterminator go out tomorrow [Friday] to inspect our Staten Island court facilities [holding pens]. If there is a problem, we will arrange to treat the pens with a combination of steam and chemicals when the pens are empty — over the weekend.”
SILive.com notes that a bed bug was also found on a prisoner being transported in a van from the precinct to the courts. The van was “taken care of.”
The Department of Corrections is right to be concerned about bed bugs being present where prisoners from the 120th Precinct are taken to court. I’m glad they’re being proactive about this.
SILive.com also cited one anonymous defense attorney who claimed the court’s holding cells have had a problem with bed bugs for several months, but a state courts spokesperson denied the Stapleton Criminal Court had had any problems with bed bugs.
I am glad the NYPD is being responsive about the problems at the 120th Precinct, and glad the Stapleton court is looking into whether they may need treatment also.
Sadly, the city can do a lot more to protect a prisoner in its holding cells from bed bugs, a lot more quickly, than it can do to help the average bedbugged NYC tenant.