BY TRONE DOWD
The new commanding officer of Southeast Queens’ 113th Precinct dropped by Community Board 12’s monthly meeting on Wednesday to introduce himself and discuss his philosophy on how to run a precinct.
The meeting kicked off with soon-to-be-chairman Rev. Edward McKay wishing his predecessor—chairwoman Adrienne Adams, who is running for City Council’s District 28 in November’s election—well and bidding her farewell.
Deputy Inspector Jerry O’Sullivan, who is the new commanding officer for the 113th Precinct, told the board that he was looking forward to serving the community. The 25 year-veteran of the city Police Department was assigned to the Southeast Queens precinct three weeks ago.
“I hope that I didn’t interrupt your agenda too much tonight, but it’s important for me to come in here and introduce myself,” he said.
O’Sullivan said that he previously served in the Bronx and Manhattan. As an officer, he served in the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx, which is where he was raised.
“This was in the early 1990s,” O’Sullivan said. “It was a very different city back then, but part of what they had back then was community policing. The department, unfortunately, changed over the years, but that has changed in the last three years.”
The 113th Precinct was one of the first Queens precincts to bring back the policing method back in 2015. It has since been initiated in the 103rd, 100th and 101st precincts, and is scheduled to begin at the 116th Precinct upon its opening.
“Prior to being here, I was the commanding officer in a housing bureau in the South Bronx that covered the 40th and the 42nd precincts,” he said. “Queens is new to me, but I am very excited to be here. Honestly, it’s an honor for me to be a part of the 113th Precinct. I take my job very seriously, wherever I was assigned, and I definitely take this position very seriously.”
He explained that attending community meetings has always been his method for getting to know the communities he covers. He said that this method has always led to successful relationships and added that he maintains the same philosophy when it comes to day-to-day police work.
“If I read about a crime, I try to make an effort to make it out there myself and see it in person,” he said. “It’s one thing to read it on paper. But if there’s a report for a crime, there’s a victim behind. And it’s important for me as a commanding officer to try my best to go there, see what happened and call the complainants up.”
During his short time as the head of the precinct so far, O’Sullivan said that he has already identified certain crimes as problematic in Southeast Queens—including squatters in foreclosed homes, which is an issue that he wants to tackle right away.
“No matter what successes we have with the police departments, if we don’t maintain a decent relationship with the community, [that’s] something that needs to be addressed,” he said. “The one thing I will do is try my best.”
The 113th is not the only precinct that has seen a recent shakeup in staff. The 103rd Precinct recently welcomed a new commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Peter Fortune.
Last month, Patrol Borough South Chief David Barrere told the PRESS of Southeast Queens that Fortune was “an extremely talented, well respected and very knowledgeable commanding officer.”
The former commanding officers of both precincts—Inspector Frederick Grover of the 113th and Inspector John Cappelmann—are both transferring to the Borough South team to work alongside Barrere.