|Times Square, New York City, during annual New Year's Eve celebration|
|L to R: SMO Orlando Lozada, Maint. Mechanics John Carmitchel, |
Harvey Josephowitz, Darrlye White
In conjunction with the NYPD and the Manhattan Centralized Collection Unit, technicians from the New York District’s Central Maintenance Service (CMS) removed 13 collection boxes from the “crossroads of the world”––an area that stretches from 40th street to 48th street along both 7th Avenue and Broadway.
“Unfortunately, collection boxes make a great depository for other things beside mail, like explosives,” said Supv. Maintenance Operations Orlando Lozada. “So whenever there is an event in the city where they expect a lot of people, we remove or sometimes seal the boxes for the safety of the public.”
“We removed them on December 26th,” said Maintenance Mechanic Darrlye White. “We drill out the bolts that fasten the boxes to the sidewalk and cart them away to Morgan. We will put them all back on January 2nd.”
Securing collection boxes for New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a high profile task, but the 83 employees in CMS are also responsible for maintaining and repairing air-conditioning and heating units throughout the New York District, as well as carpentry, plumbing, painting, welding and Letter Carrier cart repairs.
“Plus, we repair collection boxes that get hit by motor vehicles, on an almost daily basis,” added Lozada.
Deep in the sub-basement of Morgan P&DC, White takes inventory of how many expansion bolts he will need to re-fasten the collection boxes to their rightful place on the streets of New York.
“Movie shoots, parades, rallies, concerts, there are so many events in this city where we need to temporarily remove collection boxes,” said White. “It’s seems like a simple thing, but it’s a very important job.”“With the way things have been in the news lately, it’s a great feeling to know that in our own little way we can contribute to the safety of our fellow New Yorkers,” said Lozada. “We wish everyone a safe and happy New Year.”