Tuesday, September 14, 2010
New York, NY - Why Does the NYPD Have a Shredding Truck?
New York, NY - Last week, William Dobbs sent us a curious photo of an anomalous-looking vehicle with the telltale markings of the New York Police Department.
Though it “looked more like a moving van than a police vehicle,” according to Mr. Dobbs, who saw it Friday parked on the north side of Spring Street, between Hudson and Greenwich Streets, it turned out to be something we had never heard of: the department’s giant mobile shredder.
The boxes of papers, piled on the sidewalk, “seemed to come out of the loading dock of an old office building which has a front office on Hudson,” said Mr. Dobbs, a civil liberties and gay rights advocate. “There were two guys in the truck’s cab and one working the shredder.”
Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s Chief spokesman, provided a copy of Mr. Dobbs’s photograph, was asked to shed light on it. He answered quickly, and with humor, to the query: “I can ’shred’ light on it: It was there to shred N.Y.P.D. documents at that location.”
The existence of the truck-size roaming shredder was a revelation. So, follow-up questions were relayed to Mr. Browne. He was asked: What documents, specifically, were being shredded, and from which area of the department? How many shredder trucks does the department have and how much did they cost?
By press time, Mr. Browne had not responded.
The police have been known to shred things in that neighborhood before, so it’s possible that the truck was there for similar reasons. Or perhaps it was destroying no-longer-legal stop-and-frisk records. Take-out menus? The possibilities are endless!