April 29, 2015 By Michael Florio
The police commissioner has named a new commanding officer for Astoria’s 114th precinct, just one week after the department announced that former commander Kevin Maloney was leaving.
Captain Peter Fortune, who is now in charge of the precinct, most recently served as the commanding officer of Police Service Area 5, which oversees public housing developments in a number of Manhattan neighborhoods.
Maloney announced the news, which broke yesterday, at last night’s monthly community council meeting.
Maloney said he worked with Fortune while he was at Police Service Area 8, a unit that focuses on a number of housing developments in the Bronx. At that time, Fortune had been the narcotics unit captain for a nearby precinct.
“He comes with a lot of experience and has a narcotics background,” Maloney said to those in attendance at the monthly meeting last night. “I am sure you will be very happy and in good hands.”
Maloney has left the precinct to join the Force Investigation Division, a newly-formed unit that investigates all incidents whenever an officer fires his or her weapon.
Maloney said under the current structure each firearms incident– involving cops– is investigated differently, depending on the location and borough. With this new unit, each investigation will be consistent and thorough regardless of the location.
“It is an honor to be selected to this unit on the ground floor,” he said.
Maloney addressed the larger than usual crowd at the meeting last night, as officers from the precinct came out to congratulate him. He discussed the year and a half that he had spent in command, stating that when he first started he knew nothing about Astoria.
“This has been a special place both for my career and in my heart,” he said. “I truly believe I made friendships that will last the rest of my life.”
Former Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. spoke last night about the great job Maloney had done.
“He was great for the community as he worked closely with the people,” Vallone said. “Now he is being put on one of the most controversial units in the city having to investigate every police shooting.”
“That is the faith they have in him,” he added. “He leaves a great legacy here.”