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Photo via Shutterstock/Nick Beer

Over $20 million in funding will be distributed across Queens’ 16 police precincts to more fully implement the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing model throughout the entire borough, officials announced on Monday.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown presented NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill with a $20,391,864 check at the NYC Police Academy in College Point on March 6. The funds will be used in part to purchase 264 new vehicles for use by uniformed police, 19,000 upgraded gun holsters with an automatic locking system, electronic tablets for police recruits and flashlights.

Funding will also be used to purchase enhanced training technology for the College Point Police Academy.

The upgrades will support an enhanced implementation of the NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing initiative — a highly localized take on law enforcement — which includes assigning permanent two-officer teams to specific neighborhood sectors in each precinct and on each shift. The initiative also takes a localized approach to identifying and addressing crime patterns and quality of life problems, and increases patrol personnel out on the field at any given time. The model was first initiated in 2015 as a pilot in select precincts citywide.

“The principal use of the funds will be centered on enhancing Commissioner O’Neill’s community-based policing strategies in all 16 Queens County police precincts,” said Brown. “In essence, it heralds the return of a familiar figure — the cop on the beat who knows the people and the community he or she serves. By forging closer, more meaningful relationships with local business owners, community advocates, religious leaders and residents, it is hoped that a line of dialogue can be opened up between the police and the communities that will result in mutual understanding and an easing of the tension and mistrust that ofttimes exists between the police and many of the communities they protect.”

The allocated funding is part of the $1.256 billion in forfeiture funds paid by HSBC Bank in the 2012 case where the company admitted to money laundering and sanctions violations. The Queens District Attorney’s Office received an equitable sharing award of $116 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and now has directly transferred $20 million to the NYPD.

“The $20 million Judge Brown has allocated for this department will be an important investment in neighborhood policing, our crime fighting strategy,” said O’Neill. “This forfeiture funding will provide our cops with essential tools — like vehicles, technology, and training — they need to do their job. I thank him for this investment in us and helping us keep this city the safest big city in America.”

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