By Bill Parry
A group of lawmakers and community leaders from Corona are calling on the state to pay for a top-to-bottom renovation of the 110th Precinct and construction of a satellite station in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and state Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio urging them to support funding for the two “vital projects” that would go toward meeting the public safety needs of their constituents.
“For far too long, our community’s police officers have been working in subpar conditions at the 110th Precinct’s dilapidated station house,” the letter said. “We must act to support these professionals with the proper facilities that they need in order to best carry out their duties.”
At a rally outside the station house, Peralta called the issue a matter of public safety. The 110th Precinct was opened at 94-41 43rd Ave. in 1940 and has not had any major renovations since.
“Fiorello LaGuardia was the mayor of New York when the current 110th Police Precinct was inaugurated,” Peralta said. “The actual structure is in a state of blatant disrepair, as it hasn’t had a substantial renovation since. More than 75 years passed by, so the need for a complete face-lift, a radical makeover, is obvious. As the population continues to increase in Corona and its surrounding neighborhoods, we need additional resources to ensure we address all public safety concerns, in all areas of the 110th Precinct’s jurisdiction.”
A complete renovation would cost $70 million. Peralta said the problems facing the station house are similar to the ones that plagued the Central Park Police Precinct, which recently underwent a $61 million renovation.
“We owe it to the men and women we entrust to keep us safe, to provide them with the proper resources to effectively carry out their jobs,” Crowley said. “For the officers of the NYPD’s 110th Precinct in Corona, that means being able to work out of a facility that’s up to standards as well as from a strategically placed substation to better fight crime within their jurisdiction.”
Flushing Meadows is the fourth-largest park in the city.
“Allowing the 110th Precinct station house to fall further into disrepair is not fair to them and it’s not fair to the people they are sworn to protect,” he said.
In their letter, the leaders pointed out the need for an increased police presence in the park, which drew 7 million visitors a year. According to the NYPD, there were 48 serious crimes reported at the park last year, including eight felonies assaults and seven robberies.
Peralta said the funding for the two projects could come from the billions that state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has amassed in settlements with banks and tobacco companies. Moya lives two blocks from the precinct and grew up in the neighborhood.
“The community has been demanding reforms to the station house for decades, and although the police officers have done a wonderful job protecting us, we have to make sure we provide them with the proper facilities they need so they can keep us safe,” he said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr