Senator Jeff Klein, Councilman Rafael Salamanca & Community Board #2 highlight recent safety improvements made to shuttered Spofford jail complex

Jeffrey D. Klein

August 03, 2017

Trespassers had entered the facility through unsecured openings, spray- painted and squatted inside the former juvenile detention center in Hunts Point

Bronx, NY - Senator Jeff Klein, Councilmember Rafael Salamanca and Community Board #2 applauded recent measures taken by the city to clean up and secure the shuttered Spofford jail complex in Hunts Point. Following community complaints about an uptick in trespassing and vandalism at the abandoned facility at the end of June, the local elected officials worked with the community board to ensure the city take action.

Various holes appeared in the fence lining Spofford, a roll down gate was left ajar and a door to the complex was even open. This led to an influx of trespassing and vandalism, mainly in the form of graffiti, at the site. The lawmakers and the community board worked closely with ACS, who still owns the property, and EDC, who will facilitate the sale and oversee the upcoming redevelopment of the location.

After several weeks, the city promised to address the issues and restore public safety in the area. Late last week EDC, ACS, DSNY and the NYPD implemented their first line of action. Police engaged in several sweeps, nabbing eight trespassers in the process. Members of the agencies patched up fence holes, fixed a roll down gate and secured the doors. City personnel also cleared overgrown brush and picked up scattered debris and litter.

“The cleanup and securing of Spofford was a joint effort between my office, Councilmember Salamanca's office and Community Board #2,” said Senator Jeff Klein. “Following a number of community complaints over the past month about vandals breaking into the former jail complex, our offices worked collectively to ensure the city was made aware. I'm pleased that in the past week the city cleaned up and took measures to secure the facility.”

“Spofford has been nothing but a blight to our community and a magnet for unwanted activity, and I’m pleased to see the city take action to alleviate the community’s concerns,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “Now, Senator Klein and I will be working together to expedite the transfer of the property to EDC so they can begin demolition, because redevelopment can’t come soon enough.”

“The Community Board received multiple complaints from residents and is pleased with the efforts our local elected officials have made to address these complaints. We can only hope the city agencies responsible for the location will continue to stay vigilant and not allow the conditions to return,” Chairman of  Community Board #2 Roberto Crespo.

The cleanup continued this week, when Graffiti Free NYC truck operated by NYC EDC powerwashed the graffiti from the facade of the buildings. The elected officials and the community board applaud the city’s action and will monitor Spofford to ensure the conditions remain safe.

Photos depict the facility before and after the cleanup.