Residents of Southeast Queens thought 40 years of advocacy and hard work had come to fruition in July 2017 when Mayor de Blasio joined them along with NYPD brass and elected officials in Rosedale, next to the land that was finally going to become the NYPD’s new 116th Precinct.
But with a stroke of his pen, de Blasio transferred the $92 million in capital funding to other projects, including a community center in Roy Wilkins Park in St. Albans.
NYPD critics, including those on the City Council, had advertised that they were looking to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s operating budget, and much of that was switched to other departments for social service programs.
The NYPD last week told the Chronicle that it was committed to fulfilling its promise to the residents of Southeast Queens.
But the mayor and Council also agreed on more than $530 million in cuts to the NYPD’s capital budget, and the 116th Precinct proved to be too tempting a target.
And one of the most ardent proponents of police reform on the Council — Public Safety Committee Chairman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) — also was the biggest supporter of the precinct in City Hall.
“I voted against the budget,” Richards told the Chronicle in an interview.
See what they lost out on by caving.
See where all that money that was snatched from the 116th of which it's still being spent on the NYPD is actually going to. What is the "special expense"?
One thing's for sure, the city and the NYPD (and the protesters of Occupy City Hall) feels the residents of Southeast Queens lives aren't that special and don't matter much.