By Gina Martinez
In his first official act from Queens as he runs City Hall out of the borough this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio brought NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill to Rosedale Monday morning.
De Blasio and O’Neill unveiled the site for the new 116th Precinct, which will be located at 242-40 North Conduit Ave.
For years, community leaders and elected officials called for action to cut down on response times across the sprawling 105th Precinct, which stretches north to Glen Oaks. According to the mayor, the 105th Precinct is the fifth largest in the city, covering 12.43 square miles and 354 miles of roadway in Queens. The new 116th Precinct will assume over half of the 105th Precinct’s current territory.
De Blasio said the citywide average emergency response time is seven minutes, while the 105th’s response time has averaged closer to nine minutes.
The mayor said thanks to the tireless efforts of the NYPD, New York City is the safest big city in America and that every neighborhood in the city deserves the same quality of service.
“That is why we are making unprecedented investments in establishing high-quality precincts,” he said. “The future 116th Precinct will help reduce current response times in southeast Queens and expand coverage throughout the community.”
According to the mayor, the addition of the 116th Precinct will allow officers to respond more quickly and maintain a significant police presence in the southernmost part of the jurisdiction. The NYPD created the satellite precinct last March to assist with its coverage and service in the 105th Precinct, which included 18 new officers, two new sergeants and a 24-hour operation to aid with the case loads and stretched jurisdictions.
State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) said the new 116th Precinct is the result of persistent, grassroots advocacy.
“As we continue the process of finally establishing the 116th, my elected colleagues and I will work to ensure that the needs of the Laurelton, Rosedale, and Brookville communities are met by the city,” he said. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD for prioritizing this long-awaited project, and I thank Council members (Donovan) Richards and (Daneek) Miller for their tremendous efforts in the Council to bring us to this point.”
De Blasio said the NYPD will conduct an analysis to determine the precinct’s eventual borders. The study will consider factors such as geography, population, 911/311 calls, crime and quality-of-life issues, all with the goal of increasing services while distributing workload as equitably as possible, he said. Staffing levels and operating costs for the new 116th Precinct will be determined as the process moves along, boundaries are determined, designs are completed and construction gets underway.
“We are excited to be here in Queens as we announce the site of the new 116 Precinct,” O’Neill said. “This new investment will reduce response times and inevitably enable us to even further reduce crime.”
Queens is the third stop on the mayor’s “City Hall in Your Borough” initiative, following visits to Staten Island and the Bronx.
Mayor de Blasio, deputy mayors, and senior agency officials will meet and listen to the concerns of the people who live in the borough. A cabinet meeting, resource fair and town hall are among the scheduled events.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart