Oct. 12, 2014 By Christian Murray
Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community.
Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues.
While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program.
“I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.”
On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway.
Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti.
Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there.
The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm.
On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention.
Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing.
In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.
— NYPD 108th Precinct (@NYPD108Pct) October 11, 2014