By Connor Adams Sheets
Deputy Inspector Brian Maguire presided over his first 109th Precinct Community Council meeting last week, energizing residents who attended with his ambitious plans and enthusiasm for his new post.
The evening began with the outgoing deputy inspector, Matthew Whelan, who is leaving for the 19th Precinct on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, passing the torch to Maguire.
“I appreciate everyone’s support over the years,” Whelan said after accepting parting giftsï»¿ from the community council. “I want to thank everyone and your accolades and your support really touch me in the heart.”
Maguire, who joined the Police Department in January 1986, then took the podium to describe his previous police experience, outline his plans and introduce himself to the community he now serves.
“I’m very glad to be here in the 109th. Matt’s had a tremendous crime reduction in his years and I hope to continue in his shoes,” Maguire said at the May 12 meeting. “I’m here to keep crime down and make Flushing, Whitestone and College Point as great a place to live as it can be. … I’m ready to jump in with both feet.”
The post, which is Maguire’s first as the commanding officer of a precinct, comes after years of work doing criminal investigations, internal investigations, working as a patrol officer and more. He was most recently the commanding officer at NYPD Transit Bureau District 1 and previously worked in the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst and Manhattan’s Midtown North Precinct.
The 109th Precinct has seen reductions over last year’s numbers in all crime categories except burglaries and grand larcenies, Maguire said.
As such, he said his focus at the outset of his tenure at the precinct will be on lowering the number of burglaries, which he plans to start by targeting past offenders. He and his officers will visit the homes of 95 convicted burglars arrested in the past five years in the downtown Flushing, East Flushing, Queensboro Hill, College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Beechhurst and Bay Terrace areas, which the precinct covers.
He will check in to ensure they are working legitimately and offer various services to make sure they stay off the streets.
“What I’m looking to do is visit people who have been arrested for committing burglaries in the 109th Precinct because its a recidivist crime,” he said. “It gets in their mind, their psyche, that we’re watching them.”
But for Maguire, who was awarded command of the precinct after achieving record drops in crime statistics in Transit Bureau District 1, the first week on the job was mostly about shaking hands, getting his photo taken and familiarizing himself with the people and neighborhoods he will be protecting.
“I’ve received an extremely warm welcome so far from the community,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the diversity in Whitestone, Flushing and College Point, improving people’s perceptions of safety on the streets and reducing fear.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.