Updated April 27, 12:40 p.m.
Southeast Queens residents have 116 reasons to feel a bit more secure in their future.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget includes $70 million for the construction of a new 116th Precinct focused on the neighborhoods of Brookville, Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens, the Daily News reported on Tuesday.
Residents and elected officials representing the four neighborhoods, which are presently patrolled by the Queens Village-based 105th Precinct, have long sought their own NYPD command. Located on the southern end of one of the largest geographic precincts in the city, advocates for a 116th Precinct claim the distance from the 105th Precinct stationhouse has resulted in delayed response times for emergencies and other situations.
Nearly a decade ago, the NYPD opened a 105th Precinct satellite office near the Rosedale Long Island Rail Road station, but it was only open for a set amount of hours each day. The NYPD expanded the satellite into a 24-hour operation in February.
De Blasio’s $82 billion executive budget, which he is set to announce on Tuesday, does not specify a timetable for when the 116th Precinct would open. The city still has to find an appropriate site before designing and constructing the new station.
“Our investment in a new 116th Precinct will … help reduce response times, and bring an additional police presence to the fast-growing neighborhoods in southeast Queens,” de Blasio was quoted as saying in the Daily News report.
News of the mayor’s 116th Precinct allocation brought joy from two local councilmen, Barry Grodenchik and Donovan Richards, who celebrated on Twitter on Tuesday morning (scroll down to see).
“For nearly four decades, residents of Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens have been calling for the 116th Precinct and the city has finally delivered in 2016,” Richards said. “This $70 million investment is a tremendous victory for eastern Queens communities, as well as the dedicated officers of the 105th Precinct.”
“The creation of the new 116 Precinct is a watershed moment. Its impact on the public safety of our communities, from North Shore Towers and Queens Village to Rosedale and Springfield Gardens, cannot be overstated,” Grodenchik added.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz also welcomed the news: “Many families in Laurelton, Rosedale, Brookville and Springfield Gardens have long identified the need for a new precinct closer to the neighborhoods it protects and serves. The size of the existing 105th Precinct, which covers nearly 13 square miles and has its stationhouse on the northern end of the vertically-long territory, has posed significant geographical challenges that make it difficult to fully serve neighborhoods in the southern half of its jurisdiction.”
De Blasio’s executive budget is the latest step in the budget negotiating process. His administration and the City Council must agree upon a spending plan for the 2017 fiscal year before June 30. The new budget takes effect when the city’s new fiscal year begins on July 1.
Great news for Eastern Queens. Our 40 years of wandering the desert are over. https://t.co/TN5OAj6f4r
— Barry Grodenchik (@BarryGrodenchik) April 26, 2016