The site of the new precinct that will eventually serve southeast Queens was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill on Monday, though they admitted it would likely take years to open.
The future home of the 116th Precinct will be located in the Rosedale neighborhood of Queens. The site on North Conduit Boulevard currently houses a satellite office for the sprawling 105th Precinct, which patrols the area.
For decades community activists and neighborhood groups in Laurelton, Cambria Heights, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens have been fighting for their own precinct. They have argued that the 105th Precinct covers too vast an area to adequately protect their neighborhoods.
De Blasio, speaking at a news conference to showcase the site, acknowledged the $70 million project could be years away from completion due to the city’s lengthy zoning and permitting process.
He first announced that the city would be creating the new precinct in May 2016.
While a time frame for the project has not yet been determined, De Blasio said he hoped to expedite the effort.
“This was a matter of fairness,” de Blasio said at the news conference that also marked the start of his weeklong stint working from Queens as part of the “City Hall in your Borough” series.
O’Neill said once the new precinct is in operation it “will cut in half the existing coverage area of the 105th Precinct.” The 105th serves a 13 square-mile area of eastern Queens and “geographically is the fourth largest precinct in the city,” O’Neill said.
“This new investment will reduce response times and inevitably enable us to even further reduce crime,” O’Neill said.
Beth De Beetham, a community activist who spoke at the event, said residents of the area have been pushing for a new police precinct for the past 40 years and were relieved the fight was almost at its end.
“The 116th Precinct will save lives,” De Beetham said.