Dec. 18, 2016 By Christian Murray
The commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct—which covers Sunnyside, Woodside & Long Island City—is being transferred by the NYPD to the Internal Affairs bureau in Manhattan.
Deputy Inspector John Travaglia will be leaving the post after heading the precinct for just two years. The date of his departure and who his replacement will be was not known at the time of publication.
The NYPD has a policy of transferring commanding officers after two years. Travaglia’s predecessor, the equally popular Captain Brian Hennessy, was transferred after being in charge of the precinct for just 18 months, much to the disappointment of residents.
The crime rate for the precinct—based on the number of reported major indexed crimes—has dropped significantly since Travaglia has been in charge of the command. Crime is down 4 percent for the year through December 11, compared to the same period in 2015.
Since Travaglia took command, there has been a significant drop in the number of reported burglaries. For the year through Dec. 11, there have been 138 reported burglaries, compared to 190 for the 11 ½ month period in 2015.
Travaglia, who spoke at the Hunters Point Civic Association meeting in Long Island City earlier this week, said he was disappointed with having to leave the precinct but recognized it was NYPD policy.
“I personally would want to end my career here and stay until they forced me off the job at 63 years old,” Travaglia, who is in his mid 40s, said. However, “I am a like turkey and I have a popper and I am at the two year mark,” he said to laughter.
The NYPD’s policy of rotating commanding officers so quickly drew criticism from some attendees at the civic association meeting.
“It’s a shame,” one woman said. “You are now at the point where you know the neighborhood, know the people and then they bring someone else in, someone new who doesn’t know the people.”
Travaglia was unable to explain the NYPD’s rationale for the policy. “The logic I would say is to give other people a shot, to bring new ideas and blood into precincts,” he speculated.
Nevertheless, Travaglia said he just did what was asked of him and noted that he has enjoyed his time at the precinct.
Councilman Van Bramer said Travaglia has served the community well during his tenure.
“I have appreciated a good working relationship with Inspector Travaglia. Crime is low and our neighborhoods are safe. I thank him for his service to our community and I wish him well.”