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Holden Calls out 104th Precinct for Slow Response to School Incident

Sacred Heart Catholic Academy (Google Maps)

Feb. 28, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Robert Holden is calling for an investigation into the 104th Police Precinct after officers took hours to respond to a 911 call of a suspicious man at a Glendale Catholic school earlier this week.

Faculty members at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy called 911 to report a suspicious man who knocked on the school’s door to ask for directions on Feb. 25 and police officers came about four hours later, Holden said.

Officers, according to police sources, received the call around the same time that two high priority emergencies came in. One involved a missing teen and another dealt with a car crash with injuries, both viewed as urgent.

Still Holden said an incident at a school should warrant an immediate response.

The man in question knocked on the Catholic school’s door at about 12:30 p.m. while holding a stick-like object and a bag over his shoulder, according to Holden, who spoke to faculty and reviewed surveillance footage.

A faculty member answered the door, but felt uncomfortable and shut it, while the man lingered around the school, located at 84-05 78th Ave., for several more minutes, Holden said.

Over the next two hours, faculty members called 911 twice and ultimately requested a police presence at 3 p.m. dismissal time. However, officers from the 104th Precinct didn’t arrive until after 4 p.m., the Council Member said.

“Regardless of whether or not the man knocking on the door was actually a danger to the school, the staff felt concerned enough to call 911, and that should have warranted an immediate response,” Holden said.

The police, however, said that they were told that the man didn’t pose a threat– and they responded accordingly.

According to a police spokesperson, the 911 caller told them that the man just looked suspicious. Furthermore, the caller told them that the man was walking away from the location.

Additionally, officers from the 104th Precinct had to respond to two high-priority emergencies — a missing 14-year-old and a vehicle collision with injuries — before going to the school.

Holden, however, said he was also frustrated over the local precinct’s lack of communication with his office. He said he never got a call back from the commanding officer, Captain Victoria Perry, and had to call several more times the following day to learn the details of the incident and police response.

“I am extremely frustrated with the lack of response and urgency from the 104th Precinct,” Holden said. “In this day and age with many school threats occurring, this was a test of whether or not the precinct was prepared, and it failed miserably.”

The precinct has since contacted Holden, according to police.

“The Commanding Officer of the 104 Precinct is aware of this incident and has been in contact with the Council Member,” a spokesperson for the NYPD said. “The Captain has instructed her supervisory personnel to redirect units to any jobs occurring at schools even when they are not considered a priority.”

Personnel from the 104th Precinct have visited the school several times a day since the incident, in order to reassure the safety of students and staff, the police spokesperson added.

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Jose Parrido

Dear Mr holden. Please tell your constituents stop calling and flooding 311 calls because someone with a ponnsylvania or rode eylynn plate parks in front of an entitled homeowner that thinks the spots are their private spaces. Not every out of state plate is a vehicle that isn’t being curbstoned .Your constituents are tying up police officers from responding to real time crime and issues .

Hold out living on cooper avenue

Well manpower is always an issue. Cops assigned to court . Cops assigned to summons duty. The supervisor riding alone answering calls. The several key supervisors and career cops that retired haven’t been replaced. Hey Bob there is a new borough commander. Pizzuti is long gone. Go lite a fire under the new commanders feet. The last strong hold of queens shouldn’t become a dump. Get more cops.

A LoBello

I cant disagree with Holden this time. Response time to any school in todays world should be immediate . But the 104 pct is vast to say the least. I personally think the 104 is understaffed. We never see a foot patrol or car patrol in Glendale or Old MV.
Not to instill fear the shelter is open and they really need to beef up patrolling in that area

Linda Brennan Ferrara

I would like to know if an off duty officer could have been called in for this situation since it seems they lack enough officers to handle their precinct? This is a complete disaster waiting to happen! Thank God no one was kidnapped nor assaulted when the children and faculty were let out that day! Maybe they should request the police make rounds at the school?


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