The New York Police Department headquarters in Manhattan has long allowed reporters to work in the building, also known as “the shack.” Mayor Eric Adams notified journalists last week that he plans to relocate them to a trailer outside the building, the New York Times reports. The move caused news outlets and other organizations to denounce the plan. Adams’ plan follows several other decisions that critics say are meant to hinder scrutiny of government operations, including limiting how many reporters each news outlet has in the City Hall pressroom. The police department says the trailer outside 1 Police Plaza is much larger than the shack, including conference rooms and amenities. The move has been in the works since Adams took office in 2022. It aims at creating space for reporters from additional outlets that have asked to cover the department.
Seven news outlets joined a letter to the department complaining that the relocation took journalists by surprise and called for the move to be delayed until media concerns are allayed. “Our proximity and access to N.Y.P.D. officers helps us produce well-informed reporting, which benefits everyone,” wrote Al-Amyn Sumar, a lawyer for The Times. The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Associated Press, Newsday, Gothamist/WNYC and CBS also signed the letter. The police said Tarik Sheppard, the department’s deputy commissioner of public information, had met with representatives from each outlet in the shack to explain the move. Many reporters said they had no official communication from Sheppard about the planned move. The New York Press Club said the Adams administration was “slowly but deliberately eroding media access to important news from City Hall and critical information for all New Yorkers.”