National Night Out Against Crime 2022 brings community and precincts together in Queens

National Night Out Against Crime
National Night Out Against Crime brings community members out to connect with their local precincts all across Queens. (Photo by Kevin Ryan)

National Night Out Against Crime took place all around Queens Tuesday night, Aug. 2, promoting better relations between local precincts and the communities they serve. 

Founded in 1984, the nationwide event is held on the first Tuesday of August each year. In order to improve safety and a sense of community around the country, the event aims to build trust between law enforcement and local residents.

Here’s how Queens celebrated last night: 

104th Precinct: (Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth) 

Council Member Robert Holden attending the National Night Out Against Crime at Juniper Valley Park. (Photo by Kevin Ryan)

Residents met up with their local precinct at Juniper Valley Park Tuesday night for food, entertainment, health screenings and much more. 

Local Council member Robert Holden came out to show his support last night, saying that he is proud to be a part of an event that stands up to crime. 

“For decades, the tradition of National Night Out Against Crime around the country has helped develop positive relationships between communities and their law enforcement while sending a message that we will not tolerate crime,” Holden said. “More than ever, I’m proud to serve a district that backs the blue and comes together to support the NYPD at events like these. I thank Deputy Inspector Coleman and everyone who made it possible.”

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said the event always does a great job of bringing the local precinct and community together.

“Together we can win the fight against crime in our neighborhood,” Addabbo said. “All the local organizations that participate, like the local Kiwanis Club, 104 COP and restaurants giving away free food, as well as the NYPD Auxiliaries and Precinct Councils, really add to the festivities. The residents of the community really benefit from the public safety relationships symbolic of the National Night Out event.”

Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said that the event is special in their community.

“It’s become, at least around here, more of a festival,” Giordano said. “The purpose is to get people out of their homes and into a centralized location where they can socialize, meet with the officers and take a stand against crime. Although the police department may not be perfect, here or anywhere else, in New York City, I have always felt they have tried to work with the community.”

109th Precinct: (Downtown Flushing, East Flushing, Queensboro Hill, College Point, Malba, Whitestone, Beechhurst and Bay Terrace)

Officers join the community in Flushing for games, cotton candy and rides for the kids. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

Hundreds of Flushing residents gathered in the Bowne Playground on Union St. on Tuesday, enjoying rides, raffles, food and giveaways.

The 109th Precinct’s new Deputy Inspector Louron Hall accepted proclamations from the governor and mayor’s office recognizing their service to the community. The precinct also received a $20,000 check from Senator Toby Ann Stavisky’s office for its Youth Explorers Program.

“This is a phenomenal command and a phenomenal community, and I am happy to be here. This is something that we do every year and it’s very important that we, the community, work together in our shared goal of public safety, Hall said. “ We can’t do it alone — everybody knows it’s a shared responsibility. Everyone here from the public to local politicians and community-based organizations and local businesses, everyone has a hand in improving public safety and the quality of life here.”

Local elected officials such as Congresswoman Grace Meng, Senator John Liu, Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, and City Council Member Vickie Paladino were in attendance at the event.

The lawmakers commended the 109th Precinct and the Community Council for their work to keep neighborhoods safe.

“We’re proud to be a co-sponsor of tonight’s event and really proud to be on the committee that allocates funding to national night out programs here in NY and across the country,” Meng said. “ This year Congress, in a bipartisan process, gave an extra $300 million to this program across the country. We want to continue to work to make sure our officers and community members are working together to keep our neighborhoods safe and the most vulnerable.”

109th Precinct officers hand out cotton candy to local kids. (Photo by Carlotta Mohamed)

One resident, Elizabeth Montenez, said she really enjoys seeing all generations come together during each event. 

“I love seeing people having fun, eating hotdogs and hamburgers,” Montenez said. “It’s for a good cause with the police, and with everything that’s going on, they’re trying their best for the community.”

110th Precinct: (Corona and Elmhurst)

Annual National Night Out Against Crime
Community members enjoyed some rides celebrating National Night Out with the 110th Precinct. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

In Flushing Meadows Park, sponsors like Target and Applebee’s came out to offer water, sodas and snacks. Applebee’s even had a spin board for prizes including a free appetizer or a 10% off coupon. 

The commanding officer of the 110th Precinct, Deputy Inspector Jonathan Cermeli, thanked everyone for their support and noted that the precinct couldn’t do its work without the community’s help.

“So it’s definitely a partnership that we share with our elected officials, with our community members, people that work and reside in this community,” Cermeli said. 

Community members dance during National Night Out with the 110th Precinct and corporate sponsors like Target and Applebee’s. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Assembly member Catalina Cruz expressed her “utmost admiration” for the 110. 

“As we’ve exited the pandemic— hopefully— your team has continued to be there for our team and our community,” Cruz said. 

City Council member Francisco Moya said that the event was also a moment of reflection for the community— touching on the difficult time the city has gone through in the last few years. Moya said to “give it up” not only for the officers of the 110 but to all the “men and women that wear the uniform throughout the city of New York.” 

“This is that moment for us to be able to build that bridge as a community coming together with the police department to make our lives in our city better,” Moya said. 

111th Precinct: (Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Hollis Hills and Fresh Meadows)

Local officers receive recognition from the mayor’s office. (Photo by
Ethan Marshall)

At the Douglaston Shopping Center, attendees were able to partake in giant connect 4, cornhole, a limbo contest, scavenger hunt and much more. 

Local elected officials, including Senators John Liu and Toby Ann Stavisky, Council member Vickie Paladino, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, District Attorney Melinda Katz and Congresswoman Grace Meng were all in attendance to honor members of the 111. 

“I want to thank Captain Portalatin and all the officers at the 111th [Precinct],” Braunstein said. “We appreciate the work you do day in and day out and we appreciate the way you communicate with the community. When the community and police department communicate and are on the same page, it works to make everybody safer, and that’s why the 111th is one of the safest precincts in the city of New York.”

Portalatin said that he couldn’t do his job without the support he gets from the community. 

“My door is always open for every single one of you. My job is to protect our [homes] and I love this job. We are one of the safest communities in all of New York City and it’s because of all of you. I couldn’t do my job without you.”

Paladino mentioned that though the precinct is understaffed, it has not faltered in its service to the community. 

“This precinct is understaffed, works hard and goes over and above for each and every one of us in this district,” Paladino said. “We cannot take our police officers for granted. These officers here do their very best. When you call the 111th, they come.”

113th Precinct: (Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, Springfield Gardens, South Ozone Park, South Jamaica, Addisleigh Park and Locust Manor)

Mayor Eric Adams gives out proclamations to local officers. (Photo by Bruce Adler)

In Rochdale Village, Mayor Eric Adams and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards visited the local precinct and community members to join the night out against crime. 

Adams took to Twitter to show his support. 

“Tonight, police and community came together with a clear message: New Yorkers stand together against crime. We stand together for safety. And we love our city,” Adams tweeted. “Incredible National Night Out.”

Police officer presents proclamation given by Mayor Eric Adams. (Photo by Bruce Adler)

Richards said that though it was “hot and tiring,” getting out to as many precinct events as possible was rewarding. 

“True public safety requires a positive police-community relationship, and that was the name of the game across Queens yesterday on National Night Out Against Crime,” Richards said. 

Additional reporting by Gabriele Holtermann.