Peter Vallone Jr.: Kelly Move to Oust Reporters From NYPD HQ ‘a Step in the Wrong Direction’

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Ray Kelly's attempt to evict the press corps from police headquarters (and his later subtle retrenching) has city lawmakers concerned. "This is definitely a step in the wrong direction," says City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who chairs the public-safety committee, which oversees the police. "If there's one issue that everybody agrees the police department needs to improve on, it's communication." Kelly's plan to clear out reporters in "the Shack," a ramshackle cluster of offices on the second floor of 1 Police Plaza (where this reporter once had a desk) for "construction of the new Joint Operations Center" this summer miffed many reporters working there, who said Kelly never told them or their editors about his plans. It's also unclear whether Mayor Bloomberg knew about Kelly's attempt to oust the press from his building — shortly after Kelly's intent was made public, he altered his plan slightly. Our call to Kelly's press office about the matter was — perhaps not surprisingly — not immediately returned.