2019-01-09 / Features

Meet Queens’ New Top Cop

BY LIZ GOFF


Queens Borough President Melinda Katz met with NYPD Assistant Chief Martin Morales on Jan. 2 to wish him well in his new position. Photo Office of the Queens Borough President Queens Borough President Melinda Katz met with NYPD Assistant Chief Martin Morales on Jan. 2 to wish him well in his new position. Photo Office of the Queens Borough President There’s a new top cop in Queens. Newly appointed Assistant Chief Martin Morales assumed command at Patrol Borough Queens North (PBQN) just hours before the ball dropped at Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Morales, former commander of the NYPD Domestic Violence Unit, is widely respected and has been highly successful working with the city’s five district attorneys and prosecutors. The veteran NYPD commander said in a message on Twitter that the practice paves the way for police to “build stronger evidence-based cases to hold offenders accountable” while police work together with victim advocacy groups “for victims’ rights, to give them hope and, most importantly, provide them with safety.”

Morales took over command of the Fresh Meadows-based PBQN from Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes, who announced her retirement via Twitter on December 22nd. Holmes, 54, is a 32-year NYPD veteran, and was the commander of the NYPD Domestic Violence Unit prior to her appointment in 2016 as commanding officer of PBQN. One of the highest ranking African American women in the NYPD, Holmes described her decision to move into the private sector as “bittersweet,” and offered congratulations to Morales: “Passing the torch is a bittersweet moment for me, but I can rest assured that PBQN and the community are in good hands,” Holmes tweeted.

Morales assumed command of Queens’ eight police precincts, including the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood, 108th Precinct in Long Island City, 109th Precinct in Flushing, the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, 111th Precinct in Bayside, 112th Precinct in Forest Hills, 114th Precinct in Astoria, and the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights. The command also oversees operations at the PSA9 Housing Police Headquarters in Fresh Meadows, the PSA9 Satellite command in Astoria, and four major New York City housing projects: the Queensbridge Houses, Woodside Houses, Astoria Houses and Ravenswood Houses.

Morales tweeted his thanks to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill for entrusting him with the command, and sent a message to police officers and the people of Queens: “To all officers and residents of all neighborhoods in Queens North,” Morales tweeted, “I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all of you.”

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