Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson (l.) and 49th Precinct Community Council president Joe Thompson (r.) present Police Officer Victor DiPierro (c.) the 49th Precinct Cop of the Year Award.
Photo by Cecil Longmore Sr.

Call him Mr. 49th Precinct.

Police Officer Victor (Vic) DiPierro received a well-deserved Cop of the Year award at this year’s 49th Precinct Community Council’s 24th annual fellowship conference breakfast.

DiPierro has been a prominent and hard working fixture in the precinct’s community affairs unit for years.

He was first assigned there as a rookie cop in 1995, and has worked there since 1998, excelling in that assignment ever since, precinct commander, Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson told the packed audience at Maestro’s on Bronxdale Avenue on Friday, May 18.

“Police Officer DiPierro has excelled in the New York City Police Department throughout his 18 years,” Nicholson said. “He consistently exhibits exceptional skills as a liaison between the NYPD and the community, its leaders, the clergy, and elected officials. Officer DiPierro has developed strong ties within the community. He has taken great efforts to understand diverse cultures and religious groups who make up the 49th Precinct community.”

Auxiliary Police Officer Sylvester Heggie (l.) speaks before receiving an award from 49th Precinct Community Council president Joe Thompson (r.) and Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson.
Photo by Cecil Longmore Sr.

DiPierro said he was grateful to be accepting the award for what he just saw as “doing his job,” which he enjoys.

Since he is a community affairs officer, he added, he sees a different kind of action.

“It is hard to accept this award because I am not out on the street chasing the radio,” DiPierro said. “But I try to help this community in any which way I can.”

DiPierro epitomizes someone who enjoys being on the police force, said Senator Jeff Klein, while Councilman Jimmy Vacca recalled DiPierro volunteered in his community board office when he first started out.

There had been trying personal times as of late, with the passing of his mother and father, but DiPierro said that he felt he should thank his parents for giving their only son things that they did not have to succeed.

Explorer of the Year Kyle Santiago, pictured holding his plaque, stands proudly with other members of the 49th Precinct Explorers and Police Officer Chris Traumer, who helps run the precinct explorer’s program.
Photo by Cecil Longmore Sr.

Also honored at the ceremony were Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year Sylvester Heggie; Explorer of the Year Award winner Kyle Santiago; Police Administrative Aide Award winner Sherry Toler; Thomas Twyman Citizen Award winner Vincent Prezioso, and the Business Fellowship Award presented to Robert Ruggiero.

Prezioso thanked his wife of 48 years for all of the missed meals, late nights, and meetings as he launched a patrol in 1996 in the Allerton area and founded the North East Bronx Association the same year.

Robert Ruggiero accepted the award also on behalf of his family, who for generations have run F. Ruggiero & Sons funeral home at 726 Morris Park Ave.

“We were always taught that if you don’t help the person standing next to you, you will go nowhere,” Ruggiero said.

Among those officials also addressing the ceremonies were borough commander, Assistant Chief Carlos Gomez, District Attorney Robert Johnson, Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, and assemblymembers Michael Benedetto and Naomi Rivera.

Senator Jeff Klein addresses the dignitaries on the dais, including District Attorney Robert Johnson, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, as well as members of the 49th Precinct Community Council officers
Photo by Cecil Longmore Sr.

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