A proposed police station in Queens is facing opposition from a parks activist who says the plan would appropriate parkland illegally and requires the approval of the state Legislature to be built.
The founder of NYC Parks Advocates, Geoffrey Croft, is calling the 110th Police Precinct, which Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly proposed be built in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, a "land grab."
"It's not like they're putting in a designated precinct for the park like in Central Park. There are no guarantees that those cops would be patrolling the park," Mr. Croft said in an interview.
Mr. Kelly, who testified at a police budget hearing at City Hall yesterday, said the new building is needed to replace the current structure on 43rd Avenue. The Parks Department is reviewing the proposed precinct location, he said.
Council Member Peter Vallone Jr., who represents parts of Queens and is chairman of the City Council's Public Safety Committee, said the plan for a new precinct in the park is "welcome news."
"The crime rate there is higher than any park outside Central Park, so it makes sense," Mr. Vallone said. Last summer, 43 crimes were recorded in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, second only to Central Park's 90, according to a report by the police department.
While generally supportive of the precinct, Mr. Vallone described Mr. Croft's objections as "legitimate issues" that need to be addressed before the precinct's location is chosen. "It's a tricky task because you don't want to take away parkland," he said.
Mr. Croft is currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the city to prevent the construction of a proposed restaurant in Union Square Park.