Today, it serves more than 200 members of the NYPD. That’s why one local official is calling for either major upgrades or a new facility altogether.
Last Wednesday at Community Board 5’s monthly meeting at Christ the King High School, Councilman Robert Holden renewed the call for upgraded precinct stations for the 102nd, 104th and 108th precincts.
“If you look around Catalpa, there are cars on the sidewalk and very narrow streets,” Holden said about the 104th. “This is not really a 21st century police precinct.”
After announcing an active search for new locations in October, Holden said he heard back from the NYPD that the 104th Precinct specifically was not scheduled for any improvements.
The councilman then scheduled a tour of the facility with the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of facilities on December 5. A few days prior to the “royal tour,” Holden said he saw a dumpster appear outside the building.
“They were cleaning up the place like they never cleaned up the place before,” he said.
But during the tour, Holden saw some “unacceptable” conditions. The gym in the garage has mold from a leaky roof. The facility is also dealing with peeling paint, asbestos in the basement, vermin and roaches.
Though he was not allowed to take photos, the councilman told the NYPD that the conditions were “a disgrace.” In a matter of days, Holden said, they cleaned up the facility.
They took care of the mold, replaced old desks and fixed up parts of the precinct. One popular community affairs detective told Holden they’ve seen more improvements in the last week than they had in 15 years.
Holden, however, said the changes were not nearly enough. He said his house has better security than the 104th Precinct because at least his home has cameras outside.
The councilman committed to fund the upgrades, or locate a new precinct altogether. He said if they move to a new spot, he wants the precinct to have a large parking lot.
“I’m working on a plan, giving them locations,” Holden said. “I think we have to invest in a new precinct. We’re going to work hard to find that.”
During the CB5 meeting last Wednesday, the board overwhelmingly approved a supportive housing proposal by the nonprofit WellLife Network.
The three-story, 66-unit facility at 80-97 Cypress Avenue in Glendale will house homeless and mentally ill families, including 20 apartments for seniors. Twenty-six units will be designated as affordable housing for low-income residents in the area.
CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano also announced that the Metropolitan Avenue bridge deck project has been completed and the intersection reopened.
“We got a much better contractor the second time around,” he said, noting that the first contractor, Mugrose Construction, defaulted on its contract. “They finished even a little earlier than they expected.”