The commanding officers of both the 105th and 113th precincts have been transferred to new assignments, but Deputy Inspector William Morris of the 105th did not travel far.
Morris, who has headed the 105th for 3 1/2 years, has been moved to the neighboring 113th to replace Inspector John McManus, a two-year veteran of the precinct who now heads to Manhattan's 19th Precinct.
"Obviously, I am sad to leave the 105th Precinct because I was there for 3 1/2 years, but I am excited about going to the 113th Precinct," said Morris, who also holds a law degree.
The neighboring precincts face similar issues, but the 113th Precinct is regarded as having a larger number of narcotics trade and violent crime incidents.
Last month the 113th Precinct was rocked by three murders which occurred in three days. Despite the fact arrests were made in each case within 24 hours, McManus said in an interview that week was by far his most trying as head of the precinct.
"I am reaching out to the community, elected officials and precinct members to introduce myself and to learn from them," said Morris, described as a no-nonsense captain who runs his precinct efficiently.
"The man was a talent, what else can I say," said Detective Nate Vincent, the 105th's community affairs officer. "The 113th Precinct and community are very fortunate to have him."
Morris has been replaced by Capt. Glen Kowtowski, who comes from the 10th Precinct on Manhattan's West Side.
Several community leaders voiced concern that the new captain was not coming from Queens and would be unfamiliar with borough issues.
"Why do we have to import someone from Manhattan?" asked Community Board 13 District Manager Sally Martino-Fisher.
She said the 105th is a forgotten precinct and needs more police officers and a second precinct because of its size. The 105th stretches from Bellerose and Queens Village south through Laurelton, Rosedale and parts of Springfield Gardens.
Sheila Pecoraro, 105th Community Council president, said "Capt. Glen Kowtowski does not know what he is inheriting."
She said while the 10th Precinct's population is roughly equal to that of the 105th, the Queens precinct covers 10 times the area of the Manhattan precinct.
But Vincent said Kowtowski has been well received and the transition is going smoothly.
Meanwhile, McManus leaves a precinct where crime is down overall, but murders have risen considerably in the last year.
On Friday afternoon about 15 community members, many of them from the community council, gathered to wish McManus well and presented him with an appreciation cake.
"He did a great job, he was very receptive and had good communication skills," said council member Lillian Sandrerlin.
McManus was complimented for maintaining a line of communication with the council and for being approachable.
"My entire family lives in Queens. Whatever I gave to you, my parents gave to me," McManus said before eating a piece of his going-away cake. "After 2 1/2 years, it is difficult to leave."
He said Morris will build on the work he has done in the community, and he believes the relationship between black youth and the police department will continue to improve.
McManus is being transferred to what many consider a high-profile precinct that covers the East Side from 59th to 96th streets and includes the mayor's residence, Gracie Mansion.
©2000 Community News Group
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