The NYPD pulls security around the clock for famous Columbus statues

They may be big and Italian like Bill de Blasio, but Big Apple monuments honoring Christopher Columbus no longer have 24-hour police protection like the former mayor.

The NYPD has quietly ended its years-long practice of providing 24-hour bodyguard service to bronze sculptures in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle and Central Park honoring the famous but controversial discoverer, sources said.

Instead, it monitors the famous monuments – which have become popular targets for vandals over the past five years – through newly installed security cameras and routine patrols by local counties, sources added.

The statues have mostly been under heavy guard since the summer of 2020, when nationwide protests over police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota sparked renewed hatred for monuments honoring historical figures like Columbus, who have been accused of acts of oppression.

NYPD posted in front of the Columbus Circle statue.
NYPD posted in front of the Columbus Circle statue.
Robert Mueller

In 2017, the NYPD began allocating critical resources to protecting the two statues and three other citywide statues honoring Columbus.

At the time, many Italian-American leaders who believed progressives were attempting to erase Columbus’s achievements from the history books were also at war with de Blasio over his appointment of a commission to decide the fate of the city’s potentially objectionable monuments check. Although the Columbus statues were spared, they continued to be targets of vandals.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to questions about why it stripped the police details assigned to the monuments, but sources said the department will continue to regularly evaluate its security measures.

NYPD did not respond to questions about why it withdrew the detail.
NYPD did not respond to questions about why it withdrew the detail.
Robert Mueller

Councilor Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), a longtime advocate for keeping the Columbus monuments under police surveillance, told the Post he agreed with the NYPD’s decision but believed it could be temporary.

“It’s okay,” he said. “But I imagine as soon as a crazed left-hander tweets something that incites potential vandalism, ‘the police have to come back.’

https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/nypd-pulls-24-7-security-on-famed-columbus-statues/ The NYPD pulls security around the clock for famous Columbus statues

JACLYN DIAZ

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