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Avella urges splitting 109th Pct. into two

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"The growing population in the 109th Precinct over the past two decades clearly indicates a desperate need for a new precinct," said Avella. "Subdividing this precinct would enable the Police Department to more effectively serve each of the neighborhoods under its protection."Avella introduced legislation Feb. 15 calling for the split of the 109th Precinct in an unorthodox move that is normally decided by the commissioner. But after several uneventful meetings with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who Avella said "expressed his sympathy but has not moved ahead," Avella said he decided to try pushing legislation through the City Council.He said he will arrange a meeting with City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who also serves as the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, to see if he can set up a hearing."People have told me over the years that this needs to be done," Avella said. "I've been asking for this since I was a community activist."The 109th Precinct currently encompasses Flushing, Bay Terrace, College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Beechhurst, Queensboro Hill and Willets Point.Citing reports from the city Department of Planning, the population in Community Board 7 and the 109th Precinct area rounds out at 242,952 people. By comparison, Avella cited the 2000 census, which counted 223,602 people within Community Board 12 covering greater Jamaica. Community Board 14 in the Rockaways has a population of 106,686 people.Each of those community boards is patrolled by two police precincts, and both have smaller populations than Community Board 7, Avella said.The legislation would subdivide the 109th Precinct into two separate precincts called "Flushing South" and "North Shore"Should it pass, Avella said establishing the boundaries and getting the new precinct up and running could take years."Let's first get approval," he said. "It could take years, but we have to start now."Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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