Feb. 16, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
Several police precinct buildings in western Queens and throughout the city are in poor condition and one local council member is calling for them to be renovated.
Council Member Robert Holden, whose 30th Council District incorporates five precincts, wants the city’s outdated stationhouses upgraded and has called on Mayor Eric Adams to come up with a plan to revamp them.
The lawmaker penned a letter to the mayor and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell on Feb. 2 urging them to create a task force to review the run-down police precinct buildings and to devise a way to modernize them.
Some precinct houses were constructed during the 1930s and have not undergone any major upgrades since, Holden wrote. Furthermore, the population of some of the areas where the stations are located have grown significantly and the stationhouses are no longer big enough.
“A capital project should be planned to expand and upgrade police precincts or move police precincts to larger spaces that can accommodate the personnel and their vehicles,” Holden wrote in his letter.
Holden said that subpar precinct conditions affect the morale of NYPD officers, who already work one of the toughest jobs in the city.
“Maintaining a positive mental attitude, day after day, can be challenging,” Holden wrote, noting that the mayor should be familiar with the precinct conditions given his years on the force.
Holden said he was compelled to write to the mayor and police commissioner following a recent tour of the five precincts that collectively patrol his district. District 30 covers Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village and parts of Woodhaven and Woodside.
“I saw terrible working conditions for our heroes in blue,” Holden wrote. “Buildings in need of repair, overcrowding inside the precinct and an overflow of vehicles outside the precinct are just some the most obvious problems.”
Holden said that poor conditions at precinct buildings also impact crime victims who visit the locations when in need of police support.
For instance, Holden said he discovered on a recent visit to the 104th precinct in Ridgewood that victims of domestic violence meet with police officers under a stairwell in the basement.
“This is just one example of the numerous problems that come with operating in older buildings that are no longer suitable for the NYPD.” Holden wrote.
Holden appealed to Adams for help.
“While some aspects of the job we cannot change, we, as elected officials, can ensure police are working in a space that supports the mental and physical wellbeing of officers and victims of crime.”
“Please assist me and the NYPD in this endeavor.”
Thank you, Mr. Holden! Finally, someone addresses the enormous unfairness of cramming detectives, increased patrol forces, clerical staff into buildings that are antiques. It would be nice if the police bought some nearby buildings, and kept this one to hold evidence, clerical, and community programs. The 108 rules!