In a part of New York City that often feels neglected and forgotten – maybe because it's so hard to get there by public transit from Manhattan – it's incredible to see this large of an investment in public safety.
The 105th Precinct is overburdened, and that puts not only the safety of residents at risk, but the safety of the officers. They currently serve an estimated 188,000 residents – about 88,000 more than the average – and cover 12.67 square miles and 354 miles of roadway.
With a new precinct, response times will be drastically reduced and a much larger police presence in the underserved areas not close to the station house in Queens Village can act as a deterrent for would-be criminals.
It will also help with community policing. Obviously there are police officers in the community, but it's stretched so thin that it likely makes community outreach and a close-knit relationship with the neighborhoods much more difficult.
It's time to give the politicians involved their due and applaud the work of councilmen Donavan Richards and Barry Grodenchik for being the ones to finally get it done. The two made great progress in the decades-old battle to get a new precinct earlier this year by getting the 105th satellite precinct open 24 hours, but even then, they did not let up and introduced a resolution to create the new 116th.
Borough President Melinda Katz and other state representatives have also been supportive of the cause. Katz recommended the creation of the new precinct as part of her budget proposal last year and state legislators have stood with Richards and Grodenchik in the past.
A large portion of south Queens is going to get a lot safer, and that's always great news.