Community Board 10’s request for more police officers at the 45th Precinct has not fallen on deaf ears.
After penning a letter to New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton calling for the assignment of additional officers to the 45th Precinct, CB 10 chair Martin Prince received a favorable response back and is now going to be speaking with a police official about the board’s concerns.
Prince said that he is gathering information from the various communities that comprise the board’s service area so that he can be armed with as much information as possible while making the case for more officers for the geographically large precinct.
“I wanted to have the individual communities tell me what they feel are hard, heavy problems,” said Prince. “I am going to cull through those comments. Some of the problems are traffic issues, and some of the problems deal with drug sales.”
As of press time, Prince expects to have a discussion about possible allocation of more officers. He said that the response back from the police department was just what he and the board had wanted.
He adding that the board’s approach was to look at it from the perspective of an overworked police officer and the danger that it can pose to the community.
John Marano, the vice-chairman of CB 10 and himself a former police officer echoed Prince’s comments, saying that officers in the 45th Precinct are indeed overworked.
He has concerns that people may start to leave the area if there is not an improvement in police response.
“Why do we have to wait two hours for a cop to respond to a call — if they respond at all?” he asked.
The board’s letter to Bratton noted the completed construction of two malls, the Mall at Bay Plaza and the Throggs Neck Shopping Center, and the planned construction of an outlet mall on the site that had been the Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas, along with a new golf course at Ferry Point.
“All of these sites will attract thousands of people to our board service area on a daily basis, posing all kinds of security concerns,” the letter stated, before going on to cite an uptick in grand larceny in recent police statistical data.
Among the other concerns raised by the letter were:
•that the precinct can field only around five cars with ten officers on many shifts, in an area with 120,392 people
•the convergence of three major highways in the board that brings with it a different kind of drug trade, one that uses cars to deliver drugs
•the precinct having to deal with 280 establishments selling alcoholic beverages, along with other businesses like barber shops giving away free booze in some cases.