The new 116th Precinct’s City Planning review process is reportedly being fast tracked, and plans for the new facility have already been viewed by Community Board 13 and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
Mark McMillan, the district manager of Community Board 13, said that CB 13 voted on the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) last week. The ULURP process typically takes a few months.
The community board’s vote was nearly unanimous, with one member holding out since that person was in favor of funding going toward education, rather than a new precinct.
The precinct will be located at 242-40 North Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, which is the current location of the 105th Precinct’s satellite building. The groundbreaking date has yet to be announced.
McMillan said that community activists have been fighting for a new precinct for nearly 30 years. U.S. Rep Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) has been a long outspoken proponent of the idea, while Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) has gotten traction on the issue during his first term in office.
McMillan noted that, geographically, the 105th Precinct—which covers Queens Village and several other Southeast Queens communities—is the largest in the borough and second largest in the city.
The push to designate a 116th Precinct was a result of the 105th Precinct’s vast size. Encompassing 12.7 square miles and more than 354 miles of roadway, the 105th has struggled for years to stretch its resources throughout a large section of the borough.
As a result, response times for emergency calls often lagged behind city averages. While the average city response time has hovered around seven minutes, the 105th’s emergency response time averages closer to 9.3 minutes.
To help with the issue, several concessions have been made. In 2007, the 105th’s satellite precinct was opened. It was meant to help keep a significant police presence in the southernmost part of the precinct’s jurisdiction. In March, the satellite precinct service was expanded to include 20 new officers and 24-hour operation.
With the addition of the 116th Precinct, the 105th will essentially be cut in half. Community leaders hope that the new precinct will help to prevent the 105th from stretching itself too thin.