Members of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) greeted Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Assemblyman Mike Miller and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to the group’s March 12 meeting at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall in Glendale.
Katz took the floor and gave a borough-wide update for those in attendance. She said that her office is focused on improving all aspects of life in Queens.
“One of the great things, I think, about my job is balancing what’s happening here,” Katz said. “You want to create jobs, but you also want to keep the communities good and pristine. You want to make sure that we are building schools, but you also want to make sure that folks that are living in the community still have that neighborhood aspect.”
Katz touted that Queens was named the number one tourist destination in the United States by Lonely Planet Travel Guide and said her office has been focused on balancing the need for tourism in the borough and the communities in Queens.
“We want to keep our families in the borough. They’re only going to stay if they can get jobs, and they’re only going to stay if they can educate our children,” Katz said. “But at the same time, keeping the communities the great places that we know that they are and mixing that together and making that okay.”
“[The 104COP] plays a huge role in that,” Katz told those in attendance. “Because you, with the 104th [Precinct], you all in this room make sure that we’re safe.”
Katz laid out her plans for the future of the New York State Pavilion. In her first year as borough president, over $6 million has been put aside to save the pavilion. “It is going to [start] to be lit up very soon, within a month or so,” Katz said.
Another main point of Katz’s speech was how her office is beginning to get rid of the trailers in schools around Queens due to overcrowding.
“No one should go to school that way,” she said. “One by one we are getting rid of the trailers.”
During the meeting, Capt. Christopher Manson, the commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, announced that he will be moving to the 110th Precinct based in Elmhurst.
“Truly I want to thank you,” Manson said to the people in attendance. The 104th Precinct has reportedly been down in crime for the 26 months Manson served as its commander.
Miller thanked Manson for all the work he has done for the 104th Precinct and the communities that it serves. He presented Manson with a plaque of appreciation.
Public Information Officer of the ATF, Charles Mulham, brought agents from the ATF to the meeting to talk about what he and his agents in the ATF do.
“We are one of the only agencies that are really down and dirty, with the locals, dealing with the guns, dealing with the guns and the drugs, dealing with the violent crime,” Mulham explained.
Mulham showed two videos and took questions from those in attendance before bringing out some prop guns and weapons for a show-and-tell.
They had several prop guns for those in attendance to handle, as well as a stun gun, a pen gun and a body bunker.