Deputy Inspector Denis Mullaney celebrated two milestones on Sept. 30: his 20th anniversary as a member of the NYPD and his first week as the new commanding officer of the 107th Precinct.
Despite his being new to the command, the area is familiar to Mullaney — he worked as the commanding officer of NYPD Transit District 20 for the past four years, which overlaps with the 107th, as well as seven other precincts. He’s clocked in time at a number of police jurisdictions during his two-decade career, all of which has equipped him to take on the leading role in Flushing.
“Transit was a good experience for me — you knew what was going on,” said Mullaney. “You’re on the train with people, good people, and you see pickpockets take advantage of them while they’re sleeping. You never experience that on patrol.”
The majority of crimes that occur in the subways are property crimes, which Mullaney said prepared him to lead the 107th Precinct, which suffers a disproportional number of property crimes compared to the other seven index crimes.
As of Oct. 4, the 107th Precinct’s year-to-date crime has only increased by 1.7 percent, which can mostly be attributed to a surge in auto thefts, which jumped 95.2 percent since last year. Mullaney says the rate is mostly a result of people leaving their keys in the ignition while they run their errands.
“We all do it sometimes — we go into the store quickly, leave the car running and boom! You walk out and the car’s gone,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are opportunists out there. They’ll see that, especially if it’s a car they desire.”
The only other crime that has increased in the precinct in the first 10 months of 2020 compared to 2019 is grand larceny, which jumped by 15 percent and Mullaney said is driven by parked car break-ins.
“Every week, I do an analysis of where our spikes in crimes are,” Mullaney said on his philosophy for attacking rising crime. “If we see a spike, we’re going to concentrate in that area ... We’re going to put our resources there to combat the crime.”
In the midst of Mullaney’s transition to the role, Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) submitted a Sept. 22 letter to then-Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Scott Henry, who has since moved on to the Transportation Bureau, on the issue of daily drag racing.
“Many have reported this information to the precinct, but believe there has been minimal action taken on their behalf,” Rozic wrote, requesting that the 107 increase neighborhood coordination officer patrol during the evening hours.
Mullaney said the quality-of-life issue is already on his radar.
“We have the areas where they’re possibly drag racing,” he said, which Rozic identified as the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center parking lot, its surrounding streets and Cunningham Park. “We catch you drag racing, you’ll be arrested [for reckless endangerment] and your cars will get confiscated.”
In order to combat quality-of-life issues, such as drag racing, and increasing crime, Mullaney emphasized the importance of neighborhood communication and urged residents to utilize the police.
“Whether it’s a robbery of the purse or someone smoking weed, just call us and we’ll address it,” he said. “Our main goal is to have everyone living in this precinct to go outside, walk around and not be scared and not be a victim of crimes ... our goal is to make sure that their safety is paramount.”