Reporting and technical writing. Saturday - Oct 16, 2021

NYPD SkyWatch story now on City Limits

I reported on the upsides and downsides of the NYPD’s surveillance tower program, according to the residents in the neighborhoods being watched.

In “NYPD Towers May Defuse Cop, Community Friction“, I got informative reactions and useful details from people in the impacted neighborhoods, people in the police department as well as people from the company that manufactures the towers.

I pitched this idea to City Limits’ editor because I’d seen these towers in my own neighborhood and wanted to look into what sorts of conditions, incidents and circumstances cause the police to erect inescapable watchtowers into certain communities over others. Some of what I found surprised me:

The NYPD’s program of introducing ominous observation towers in certain New York City neighborhoods could be working in more ways than one. While the 25-foot-tall mobile surveillance posts are supposed to improve crime investigation and crime deterrence, they may also be reducing tense confrontations between foot patrol officers and civilians.

metrony_bylineUpdate: The City Limits editor and publisher were both excited (i.e. they tweeted) that this piece got picked up by a widely-read outlet, MetroNY. The commuter newspaper ran a very abridged 218-word version of my original 1550-word story right on the inside page (page 2) of their March 1, 2012 edition, which means the City Limits brand (plus my reporting and my byline) reached a few million more people than we could’ve originally expected it to from our website alone.

View the MetroNY version:
• on
• as the full PDF

Here’s the cut out: