The VCF has provided updated guidance concerning acceptable proof of presence. The most significant change is that the VCF will no longer accept "Ground Zero" as a specific location, and is instead requesting more detailed reference to streets, addresses and landmarks.
For many claims, including residents and workers, this has not posed a problem, as it is easy to determine a person's address based on residence or work history. However, for police officers assigned to traffic and security posts in the vicinity of the World Trade Center site, remembering a specific address or intersection nearly 20 years later is a challenge. Further complicating matters are the facts that many MOS did not maintain detailed memo books at that time, and even if they did, many of those contemporaneous documents have not been retained.
While it is understandably difficult to recall a specific location where one was assigned, there are some locations where many members were likely present. Many officers were assigned along Canal Street, which for some time was the outer perimeter of the World Trade Center disaster site. There were also several muster locations, including West and Vesey Streets, and Pike and South Streets (the Pathmark parking lot under the Manhattan Bridge). Even if you do not recall where you were assigned for the majority of your tour, the VCF will accept muster locations within the exposure zone.
For MOS that were participating in search and rescue operations at the World Trade Center site, the VCF will accept "the Pile" or "the Pit" as a specific location.
Other covered locations in Lower Manhattan include the 1st and 5th Precinct Stationhouses, City Hall, Headquarters (1 Police Plaza), the Staten Island Ferry Terminal (Whitehall), and the entrances to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.
If you have questions about proving your exposure, or have received a "Missing Information Letter" from the VCF concerning proof of presence, please contact our office at (212) 766-5800.