South Queens is getting a new police precinct.
Elected and NYPD officials broke ground on the 116th Precinct this week, finally answering calls from community advocates fighting for a precinct of their own.
“It’s been a long, long journey, but the real pride and the real respect goes to the community leaders who fought long and hard,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I guarantee you it will be worth the wait, and it will make the community safer.”
The new precinct, located at 244-04 North Conduit Avenue, will serve the neighborhoods of Rosedale, Laurelton, Floral Park and Spring Gardens.
The 48,410-square-foot building will feature a multipurpose community space dedicated to bolstering community and police relations, as well as a public plaza leading to the Rosedale station of the Long Island Rail Road.
Congressman Gregory Meeks said a new precint to alleviate the burden on the 105th Precinct has been a priority for southeast Queens neighborhoods since before he was in office.
“You could go back to 1977 and this community was crying for equality, justice, fair policing and for quick response to community needs,” said Meeks. “When I first thought about running for office, the first thing I was asked by the Laurelton community and Rosedale and Springdale Gardens was the need for a precinct.”
The new 116th Precinct is the first new precinct created in the city since 2013. A 105th Precinct satellite office was opened in Rosedale in 2007 to address law enforcement need of one of the city’s largest precincts in terms of geography.
The project is expected to be completed by January 2024 at a cost of $104 million.
“There has been a lot of tension over the course of the last year or two within the police department and communities, but one thing we know right here in southeast Queens is that there is no contradiction in asking for safe streets and also police reform at the same time,” said Borough President Donovan Richards. “We will never sacrifice pushing the department to do better, but also working with the department as well.”
De Blasio said the 116th Precinct will be a model for 21st century policing.
“We couldn’t do it right without a new facility,” added de Blasio. “A new facility is actually going to help to bring the community into policing, while making policing more responsive for everyone.”