New commander takes charge of 109th Pct.

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The 109th Precinct has a new boss, and he’s just as surprised to find out as everybody else.

Owen J. Monaghan had no idea that he would take over as deputy inspector last week after Inspector James Waters, who served the precinct since July 1999, suddenly transferred out of the station.

Monaghan had reported to work at Columbus Circle in Manhattan as usual on March 6.

“Yesterday I reported to work, and I was told, ‘You were transferred,’” Monaghan said last Thursday night.

The new deputy inspector introduced himself to members of the Flushing community at the Flushing Forum for the Development of Political Leaders meeting at the Macedonia AME Church March 7.

“I have an open door policy,” Monaghan told the crowd at the church, located right across Union Street from the precinct.

The 109th Precinct covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace.

Monaghan joined the Police Department in July 1981. He just transferred from Police Transit District 1, at Columbus Circle, where he served as commanding officer.

Waters, who moved on to become inspector for the first deputy commissioner’s office, will be missed by the members of the community he helped serve and protect. Though not technically a promotion, the new position puts Waters on track to become a police chief.

“It’s a lateral move, but it’s a move up,” said Police Officer Frank Devereaux of the Community Affairs Department of the 109th Precinct. “The spot he is now occupying was once occupied by a chief.”

Adam Kim, executive chairman to the Asian Advisory Council for Borough Patrol Queens North, worked with Waters the whole time he called the 109th home.

“He knows the community very well,” said Kim of Waters. “I think he has done a good job. He kept in touch with the community, with all the minorities. We had many forums.”

Waters had come to the 109th Precinct as a deputy inspector, and he became a full inspector in the days after Sept. 11.

“He did a great job here,” said Devereaux. “The community liked him, and it was time for him to move on up.”

Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.

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