On Wednesday there were no mass demonstrations to mark the one-year anniversary of the NYPD's eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park. But since Occupy was too busy assisting storm victims or erasing debt, the police were happy to pick up the slack to ensure that we remember what a rousing success the midnight raid was. Last week a New York Times reporter stationed in 1 Police Plaza snapped a photo of a styrofoam barrier used as a protest prop by Occupy Wall Street that someone had mysteriously placed outside of the office of Chief of Department, Joseph Esposito.
"Wry humor" is how the department's top spokesman Paul Browne explained the barrier's presence in an email to the Times. "Author unknown." This is kind of funny, because "author unknown" sounds a lot like the City's response to an ongoing lawsuit for destroying or confiscating $47,000 worth of books and equipment in last year's raid of Zuccotti Park (these barricades were seized in September after the #S17 demonstrations). But hey, what's a little confiscated property if it's put to good use to amuse the boss?
You might recall that the 62-year-old Chief Esposito is "beloved" by his subordinates precisely because he doesn't mind keeping the sidewalks secure by cracking a few necks with his baton. Browne wouldn't tell the Times how the barriers got into 1 PP, but we'll probably see a few women in bikinis jump out of them at Esposito's retirement party next year—the chief turns 63, the department's mandatory retirement age, in March. A word to potential applicants: given the illicit roof BBQ on Labor Day and now these barricade hijinx, it appears that the main requirement for Chief of Department is that you've seen Back To School at least three times.