By Adam Pincus
Capt. Thomas Pilkington, formally the commanding officer of the 111th Precinct in Bayside, was selected to replace Deputy Inspector Martin Conway, who was tapped to be the Counter Terrorism Coordinator for the Transit Bureau, after two years as the top cop at the 110th, one of the most diverse precincts in the borough.Pilkington drew chuckles from the 45 people attending the Jan. 18 monthly 110th Precinct Community Council meeting, using a wry sense of humor throughout his introductory speech, delivered while walking among the tables at the lunchroom at St. John's Queens Hospital at 90-02 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst.Shortly before his remarks, two members of the Queens North Narcotics unit spoke about staffing changes implemented in response to a decrease in drug arrests in the prior year.”I am ecstatic to be in this precinct,” he said. “At the 111th I needed a change.” But, he said, he had no say in his transfer to the new post.Before being assigned to the 110th Precinct, Pilkington served in the 111th for two years, which saw major crime fall by 13 percent last year. He previously served in the 114th Precinct in Astoria, the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn and the 109th Precinct in Flushing.He said he spent much of his time in his previous command meeting with the diverse communities in that area. “I spent lots of time in Bayside cultivating relations with the community,” he said. Bayside has significant Korean-speaking and Chinese-speaking populations.To that end he encouraged attendees to bring concerns to him. “I need to know when something is broken,” he said. “I like to think I am easily accessible. Approach me – I won't bite you.”In the meeting, Pilkington was preceded by Capt. Andrew Savino, of Queens North Narcotics, and Lt. Gordon Hughes, of the 110/115 Module within that division.Savino reported that the number of drug arrests fell slightly to 160 in the 110th Precinct, which he attributed in part to the sharing of resources between the 115th and the 110th. He said the commanding officer of the citywide Narcotics Division, Asst. Chief Anthony Izzo, after consultation with Inspector Robert Napolitano, the commanding officer of Queens Narcotics, authorized one additional sergeant and eight investigators to work solely in the 110th. Savino said they started on Tuesday..He encouraged community members to contact the police if they were aware of drug activity. “Information is key. Whether from people we arrest or from the community,” he said, then added “from the community you get a lot of intelligence.”Despite the reduced number of arrests, the module had the highest number of search warrants in the north side of the borough.”There were 29 search warrants last year, which was No. 1 in Queens North,” Hughes said. “We are working on trying to get rid of inside locations.”Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.