A Laurelton man has been named borough commissioner of Queens Parks. NYP Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver appointed Michael Dockett to the position Wednesday.
Dockett has worked for the agency for 33 years most recently serving as assistant commissioner for the Urban Park Service. Dockett succeeds Dorothy Lewandowski who retired in December after holding the post since 2004. Lewandowski, a Middle Village resident, worked for the Parks Department for nearly 40 years.
Queens is home to more than 460 parks, with 7,740 acres of open space. Currently, Parks has nearly 250 active capital improvement projects underway in the borough.
“Mike Dockett has had a lasting impact on the many divisions he has worked in at NYC Parks,” Silver said. “I am confident that his background in environmental education, enforcement and emergency management will be a benefit in his new role leading Queens beloved green spaces.”
Dockett began his career with Parks in 1984 as an urban park ranger in Queens. He rose through the ranks to become a ranger supervisor and borough director in Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Dockett went on to become the director of central communications, and was later promoted to park & recreation manager of Brooklyn’s District 17 and 18, as well as being the borough’s Green Street manager. Dockett became Brooklyn’s chief of recreation, prior to returning to the Urban Park Service as its chief and eventual assistant commissioner, which he has held since 2008. In that role he was responsible for the operation of the Parks Enforcement Patrol, Central Communications and Emergency Management for the agency while overseeing enforcement operations and health and safety compliance during the outdoor pool and beach seasons.
As assistant commissioner, and in conjunction with other agencies, Dockett oversaw the growth of the Park Enforcement Patrol from 216 officers in 2007 to 351 today. He also established and implemented plans in response to coastal storms and other hazards impacting parks.
Dockett earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from York College, and a master’s degree in business administration from St. John’s University. He lives in Laurelton with his wife Anne-Marie, son and daughter Michael and Adrianna, mother-in-law Marie, and their dog, Titan. He enjoys camping, singing in his church choir, and is an assistant Scout master for the Boy Scouts of America.