For more than 20 years, Jason Huerta has been working to keep the city’s subways and streets safe. Earlier this month, he took the reigns as the 111th Precinct’s new captain.
Huerta, 41, grew up a few blocks away from Queens College in Flushing and attended Parsons Junior High School.
In the late 1980s, a friend told him that he was taking a test to join the New York City Police Department. Huerta, who was only 16 years old at the time, decided to join him.
“I always had a lot of respect for police officers, so I took the test,” he said. “I was called when I was 20.”
In 1991, he began his career as a city transit police officer, patrolling the subways.
Since then, he was worked in eight different commands, including 14 years in Brooklyn and Richmond Hill’s 102nd Precinct.
In 2008, he was promoted to captain and worked at Long Island City’s 108th Precinct and Corona’s 110th Precinct before commanding the 110th and 115th Impact Zones out of Jackson Heights’ 115th Precinct for more than a year.
Earlier this month, he replaced Ron Leyson, who will take over as deputy inspector of the 110th Precinct.
Huerta said he is impressed with the commitment from residents in the 111th Precinct to keeping their neighborhoods safe.
“People seem to be very concerned with their communities here,” he said. “It’s refreshing. And crime is very low compared to other precincts in the city.”
Currently, Huerta’s priority for northeast Queens is to cut down on the number of car break-ins and burglaries, which tend to be the precinct’s top crime.
“Hand snatches of cell phones have become somewhat of an epidemic citywide with the new technology,” he said. “It’s desirable and profitable for criminals. There are professionals out there who will try to steal your iPhone on the subway or the street.”
He said he has been meeting with members of the community since arriving at the precinct. And he encourages local residents to attend the 111th’s community council meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at the precinct.
“The concerns of the community have been few,” he said of speaking to residents about issues specific to the precinct. “At our recent community council meeting, we were trying to get people to volunteer their concerns. It seems like we have a good working relationship with local civics and organizations. What I like about the 111th is we have the time and resources to follow up with people very quickly. If there’s a problem, we want to be on it right away.”
The 111th Precinct covers Douglaston, Bayside and Little Neck.