March 17, 2015 | 3:06am  

 

New protocols end NYPD’s ‘Clean Halls’ program

By Joe Tacopino

AP

NYPD cops are being told to stop confronting loiterers in the halls of housing projects, as they have in the past as part of their “Clean Halls” program, The Post has learned.

A recent internal NYPD message revealed Monday said that the operation, which was used by police to curb drug use and sales in building stairwells and hallways, will end as part of the settlement stemming from the stop-and-frisk lawsuit which was reached last August.

Officers must now have reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the building illegally before stopping him or her.

The new protocols were announced to the rank-and-file in a March 10 memo and terms were worked out between the NYPD and the court.

A monitor, Peter Zimroth, will work with both parties to ensure that the changes are implemented, the memo said.

Zimroth was also appointed as a federal monitor to the NYPD as part of a ruling by Judge Shira Scheindlin in 2013. Judge Scheindlin found the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices were unconstitutional because they unfairly targeted minorities.

Union boss Pat Lynch came out swinging against the “Clean Halls” decision, which he said will make public housing more dangerous.

“The court is protecting the rights of criminals while blatantly violating the rights of residents to have a home free of threats and criminality,” Lynch said.

“The personal-rights pendulum has swung way out of control.”

Operation Clean Halls, in existence since 1991, was a program in which police conduct patrols in the hallways and stairwells of buildings to remove non-residents who are loitering.

NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in the past that the policy “placed New Yorkers, mostly black and Latino, under siege in their own homes.”

“This aggressive assault on people’s constitutional rights must be stopped,” Lieberman said.