Kelly proposes new 110th Precinct in park

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has proposed building a new 110th Precinct in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the largest park in Queens. The idea was presented on Monday, May 20 at a Public Safety Committee budget hearing.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) in conjunction with the mayor’s office and the City of New York Parks and Recreation Department will be reviewing the proposal after Councilmember Peter Vallone previously requested a higher police presence in the area.
“People go to the park for peace and solitude, and that is both their greatest advantage and greatest danger,” Vallone said. “We want people to be able to wander the city’s wonderful green areas, but still see enough blue and gold to feel safe.”
He stated that the precinct has had the lowest level of staffing since early 1990’s.
“With our police stretched further everyday, we must make smart decisions that maximize our resources,” he added. “If we cannot create a new precinct in the park, a new precinct house will be an excellent addition. It will bring more officers to the area and deter crime from occurring in the park.”
He explained that Flushing Meadows-Corona Park with 54 felonies in 2007 is the second most active park in the city for crime. Vallone said, “Such a large and isolated area should have a strong police presence.”
Kelly stated in a press release that the present 110th Precinct house is “an old, outdated facility that the NYPD has planned to replace in the near future.”
However, Vallone said that even though the idea is “worthy of consideration,” no new police officers are scheduled to be hired for at least another four to five years.
Andrew Moesel, spokesperson for Vallone, said that the city would replace all old precincts as necessary. A specific site has not been determined yet for the 110 but they are in favor of an area that does not take up a lot of active park space.
In a statement from the Queens Borough President’s office, Helen Marshall was pleased with the plan. Since coming into office, Marshall has allocated $113 million for various park projects.
“I have advocated for more police in the park and a permanent police presence to protect parkgoers at all times, not just when major weekend events take place,” Marshall said.
She added, “I believe that a permanent police presence in the historic, 1255-acre park would also reduce crime and be a suitable and modern home for the police officers who would work there.”
Additionally, Councilmember Hiram Monserrate said, “We need a proactive plan that utilizes the basic tenet of crime reduction and prevention: police visibility. A permanent, highly visible home for our NYPD officers and Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) units will deter crime.”