8 THE QUEENS COURIER • SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Photo courtesy of Queens Borough President Richards’ offi ce
Mayor Bill de Blasio joins southeast Queens elected offi cials and community advocates to break ground on the new 116th Precinct at 244-04 North Conduit Ave. in Rosedale.
Southeast Queens residents celebrate
groundbreaking of new 116th Precinct
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Southeast Queens community members,
elected offi cials and Mayor Bill de
Blasio on Monday, Sept. 20, broke ground
on the long-awaited 116th Precinct and
community center that will serve the
neighborhoods of Rosedale, Springfi eld
Gardens, Brookville, Laurelton and the
southern portion of Cambria Heights.
Borough President Donovan Richards
and Congressman Gregory Meeks, along
with Council members Selvena Brooks-
Powers, I. Daneek Miller, Adrienne Adams
and Leroy Comrie, were in attendance at
the press conference held at the 105th
Precinct’s satellite offi ce, located at 242-20
N. Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, which will
soon become the 116th Precinct.
According to the mayor, the new precinct
will make the community safer.
“Th e real pride and real respect goes to
the community leaders — you all fought
for this, and it was not easy, there were ups
and downs. Southeast Queens deserves
this and has a right to public safety and
reform and we couldn’t do it right without
a new facility,” de Blasio said. “Th is
new facility will help bring the community
into policing while making policing
more responsive for everyone.”
Southeast Queens elected offi cials
commended the mayor for listening to the
needs of the community.
“Mayors came and left , but we still had
the same voice and nobody delivered.
Nobody listened to the entire community,
but Mayor Bill de Blasio listened and
delivered,” said Meeks, who referenced
the struggle that started in the 1970s
for the creation of a new police precinct
amid public safety concerns. “We are
breaking ground on a dream that’s been
deferred for far too long, and a reality
that is most important for this community,
at a time when it’s most needed.”
Now, 44 years later, residents are overjoyed
with happiness that the project is
fi nally coming to fruition.
“It was a long journey, but we know at
the end we are going to help save lives
because it won’t take 15 minutes to come
from the 105th Precinct and this part of
town to resolve any problems that we
may have,” said Bess DeBethem, a community
member who has long advocated
for the precinct. “We would also like
to make the 116th Precinct an example
of how the police department and community
can work together.”
According to DeBetham, it has been
many nights of attending meetings with
the civic associations that were on board
to push their agenda forward.
“Of course, we’ve had some people
who said they didn’t want a precinct, but
we didn’t let that stop us and we continued
to to fi ght and here is the result,”
Construction on the $78 million building
began last month and is projected to
be completed in January 2024. Th e NYC
Department of Design and Construction
is managing project for the NYPD. Th e
total project cost is $104.8 million.
Th e new, 48,410-square-foot facility
has been designed with a community
meeting room on the fi rst fl oor, with
a dedicated entrance from the front of
the building, to allow members of the
neighborhood to engage with the precinct
in a way that strengthens awareness
of the NYPD’s commitment to community
policing. Th e precinct is placed strategically
within the community to allow
for more rapid responses and eff ective
Th e precinct’s parking lot has been
sited in the rear of the building, bringing
the new precinct closer to the street and
protecting the neighborhood’s residential
character. A second parking lot will
be located in front of the existing 105th
Precinct Annex. A public plaza leading
to the Long Island Railroad will occupy
the western area featuring benches,
a water fi lling station, bicycle racks and
“Th is new police precinct was conceived
by the communities of Southeast
Queens. It was forged, and designed, as a
refl ection of their best vision for eff ective
public safety and is thankfully now being
realized aft er decades of their hard work
and inspiration. Th e NYPD embraces
this moment for the opportunities this
premier facility gives us to help deepen
our connections and better serve the people
who live in the neighborhoods it will
cover,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot
Th e 116th Precinct was approved by
Community Board 13 in October 2018.
In its 2019 statement of community district
needs and budget requests, the board
cited youth and children’s services as one
of its three most pressing needs, citing
the fact that “there is no community center
in QCB 13 for our young people to
socialize and exercise.” Th e Roy Wilkins
Recreation Center will not fulfi ll that
need, as it’s located within Community
Board 12’s district.
Th e neighborhoods that would have
been covered by the 116th Precinct are
currently being policed by the 105th
Precinct — the fi ft h largest precinct in
the city, covering 354 miles of roadway.
Th e 105th Precinct posed consistent
challenges to fully serving neighborhoods
in the southern half of its jurisdiction,
according to lawmakers. Th is resulted
in long-standing disparities, response
times and safety of families in the district.
“If we have an emergency down here
and even though they have cars in the
area, the commander would have to get
from the 105th Precinct on 222nd Street
to here in 10 to 15 minutes,” said Robert
Glover, president of Th e Federated Blocks
of Laurelton. “Th is new precinct is going
to serve the community a lot better.”
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