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Communities rally to create new 116th Pct.

TimesLedger Newspapers

With an area of nearly 13 square miles and 354 miles of roads, the 105th Precinct is the fourth largest in the city, snaking its way up along the Queens-Nassau County border. Community members in neighborhoods from Rosedale to Glen Oaks say the precinct is too big, so they are calling on the city to split it in half.

The precinct’s station house is in the northern part of the patrol’s Queens Village neighborhood, at 92-08 222nd St.

Deputy Inspector Joseph Courtesis, the 105th’s commanding officer, said the sheer size of his command “makes deployment a challenge, especially when there’s more than one condition.”

Citing longer-than-average response times to neighborhoods in the south, the NYPD in 2007 opened a satellite station house, at 242-40 N. Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, and residents are urging the department to turn the satellite into the borough’s newest precinct, which would be called the 116th.

The precinct’s community council, which normally meets at the station house in Queens Village, was scheduled to meet this week at the satellite station.

Dwight Johnson, president of the Federated Blocks of Laurelton, called on residents in the precinct to attend the meeting and send a message to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Borough President Helen Marshall, City Council members and other elected officials that southeast Queens needs its own precinct.

“We’re trying to get people to understand that the satellite needs to be a full-fledged precinct,” he said.

That message seems to be getting out.

Among the borough president’s budget priorities for the coming fiscal year was a request to split the 105th Precinct in two, and earlier this year state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), whose districts include neighborhoods in the 105th’s northern section, introduced legislation to split the precinct as well as Flushing’s 109th Precinct in half.

“At this time it is wholly appropriate to build on the action that Commissioner Kelly took in 2007 and create a formal subdivision of the 105th Precinct and similarly divide the 109th Precinct in order to adequately protect the neighborhoods and communities they serve,” Avella said.

Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) said he was in full support of a new 116th Precinct, a proposal he said he introduced back in 2002.

In 2009, the city broke ground on a 121st Precinct on Staten Island, where the current 120th, 122nd and 123rd are the three largest geographic precincts in the city.

Sanders criticized officials for building a new precinct in Staten Island, when southeast Queens only got a satellite station.

“I would argue it was based on politics,” he said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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