For decades, prostitution has plagued the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Corona in western Queens – with some authorities dubbing the area the new Times Square.
The borough ranks No. 1 in prostitution arrests in the city. Of the 3,229 prostitution-related arrests citywide last year, 1,474 were made in Queens, according to arrest statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
The 115th precinct — which covers Jackson Heights, Corona and East Elmhurst — accounts for the largest portion of those arrests.
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) recognized Cristina Furlong, a founding member of Make Queens Safer, with a Women of Distinction 2015 award given by the New York State Senate during its 18th annual award celebration. Senator Peralta gave Ms. Furlong the distinction during the event held Tuesday evening at the Capitol in Albany. A reception followed the ceremony.
“Ms. Furlong has worked tirelessly to advocate for pedestrian safety and to fight against reckless driving,” Senator Peralta said. “Ms. Furlong and her group, Make Queens Safer, have been and continue to be relentless in their efforts to make our streets safer for New Yorkers.”
The Senator added, “This is a great opportunity to honor Ms. Furlong for her exemplary service to our community, our borough, our city, and our state. She and her group deserve the utmost recognition.”
“I am thrilled to be selected as a 2015 Woman of Distinction by State Senator Peralta. On behalf of my group, Make Queens Safer, it is an honor not just for us, but for advocates for social change in any arena,” Ms. Furlong said.