Suicides a concern for NYPD at Sept. 11 Memorial pools
The twin pools at the 9/11 Memorial provide a place for reflection, but the city's top cop is concerned its design could compel distraught visitors to commit suicide.
"We're concerned about the possibility of somebody jumping in. This is what we're paid to think about," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said in the March issue of Esquire magazine, which goes on sale Tuesday.
The two granite pools each feature a manmade waterfall cascading 30 feet below.
"It's not as far as it looks," Kelly continued. "You might think you're [going to] kill yourself, but it goes into about three feet of water. We actually have a plan for when that happens."
The 9/11 Memorial opened to the public on Sept. 12 and requires visitors to pass through security screening.
A spokesman for the memorial said Thursday there have be no incidences of people trying to climb into the pools. Firearms are also banned at the site. In December, a Tennessee woman was arrested for carrying a loaded pistol through security, although she told police she had forgotten it was in her purse, according to reports.
Kelly also defended the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk, which new police data shows had a record 684,330 instances of officers stopping and questioning people in 2011.
Critics of the policy call it discriminatory, since about 87% of those stopped are either black or Hispanic, stats show.
Kelly told Esquire "frisking is a life saver" and gets guns off the streets.