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Queens Chronicle

NYPD 105th: a tale of two precincts

Borough, civic leaders all say new 116th is needed in Southeast

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:13 am, Thu Mar 27, 2014.

The members of Community Board 13 long have been asking the city and the NYPD to consider safety and geography in their decades-long request to split the 105th Precinct in two and create a new 116th Precinct in its southern environs.

“We’ve been asking for this for more than 20 years,” CB 13 Chairman Bryan Block said on March 10, when Borough President Melinda Katz presented her budget priorities for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Block, CB 13 District Manager Lawrence McClean and numerous civic leaders in the district have asked for the same thing countless times.

“We requested this in 1977,” according to a notation in the priority list that CB 13 sent to Katz for her consideration; and Katz apparently liked it so much, her budget request included it twice.

Aside from calling on Mayor de Blasio to fund the top requests for all 14 Queens community boards — “Select Site for New 116th Precinct” took its traditional place at the top of CB 13’s annual list — Katz included it again under her priorities for law enforcement funding, along with an NYPD substation in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

The 105th Precinct runs from the Grand Central Parkway in the north to John F. Kennedy International Airport, and from the Nassau County border through Springfield Gardens at its widest point east to west.

From its station house on 222nd Street in Queens Village and a satellite station just north of the Long Island Rail Road tracks in Rosedale, Deputy Inspector Michael Coyle’s officers in the 105th also cover Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, New Hyde Park and Floral Park.

Statistics provided by the NYPD state that it covers 12.67 square miles and had 354 miles of roadway, a total that would be three miles short of the distance between New York City and Lynchburg, Va.

“The 105th Precinct is too large and has too many pressure points, which demand attention,” according to CB 13.

Katz’s budget request, which was approved unanimously by the Queens Borough Board, states that the 105th covers the largest land area of any precinct in New York City.

“Police vehicles travel more than 1,000 miles per week currently as a result of the distance within the precinct boundaries,” according to the report. “Although the Queens South Task Force Headquarters is located in the southern portion ... it does not serve an equal purpose of a full precinct.

“Funding is required to create the 116th Precinct (the precinct number has already been reserved) to reduce response times and increase personnel in Southeast Queens,” the section concludes.

The newest precinct in the city opened in November when the NYPD christened the 121st Precinct on Staten Island, carving out parts of the existing 120th and 122nd.

Along with the existing 123rd, Staten Island now has four precincts to cover 60 square miles.

Katz isn’t slated to deliver the borough’s proposal to City Hall until Monday. But de Blasio’s office said the mayor is willing to at least take a look — with a few simple, pragmatic caveats.

“Mayor de Blasio is prepared to listen to any idea a community in New York City thinks is important,” said a statement issued by his press office.

“A final decision on a new precinct in the area would involve a serious consideration of factors like funding, staffing, topography, and crime,” it continued. “The Mayor remains open to hearing from constituents and public officials on issues they find pressing.”

The financial cost alone would be considerable. SILive.com, a property of the Staten Island Advance, reported that the tab for construction of the station house at the 121st, for which ground was broken in 2009, was about $65.5 million.

The website said the station has 200 personnel, including 160 officers, two-thirds of which were taken from the 120th and 122nd.

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