The 45th Precinct Community Council honored local leaders and police officers at its annual breakfast gala and awards ceremony.
Community leaders from six different geographic areas in the precinct and five police officers were honored at the breakfast that hundreds attended in Throggs Neck on Friday, May 15.
“I think the breakfast is marvelous thing,” said Bob Bieder, 45th Precinct Community Council president.
“To have everyone sit in the same room, share in this experience and to understand what they police do for us I think adds a sense of camaraderie and community.”
The precinct council president said that the breakfast brings together the various neighborhoods spanning the precinct – from City Island to Zerega, and Throggs Neck to Co-op City – together as one community.
“To honor the civilians and the officers bonds us together,” he added.
The civilian awards this year went to Rev. Deborah Jenkins, a pastor who works with youth; Paul Nani, traffic coordinator of the City Island Civic Association; Lisa Sorin, executive director of the Westchester Square Business Improvement District; John Provetto, a graffiti clean-up maven and police supporting activist; Mary Jane Musano, an anti-crime activist and a board member of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association; James McQuade, local businessman.
All work with police and community, exemplifying a theme of the precinct council, ‘bridging police and community.’
Award winning cops were lieutenants Kim Garcia and Paul Trapani, and policeoOfficers John Kiernan, Frank Malafronte, Douglas Yagual.
Garcia was a conditions officer in the 45th before earning a promotion. She is currently assigned to the 19th Precinct.
Trapani works traffic detail on City Island, and is a conditions officer, Chief McGeown’s ‘right hand’ cop.
Kiernan works with the youth explorers and auxiliary police.
Malafronte helps with graffiti cleanup in the precinct.
Yagual apprehended stolen vehicles in the past year.
The event included speeches from the Bronx’s commanding officer, Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen; Senator Jeff Klein; Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson and District Attorney Robert Johnson.
DA Johnson lauded the work of the police and he seemed to urge perspective in recent criticisms of policing throughout the nation, ascribing the issues to “the actions of the few.”
Senator Klein said that he is sometimes amazed when he hears of protests about police, because in the communities he represents, there always seems to be a call for more police.
Senator Hassell-Thompson said that when police treat communities with respect, they reciprocate.
She urged that the police bring back the Police Athletic League (to the communities she represents), and she acknowledged what are “tumultuous times” while speaking of police and community relations.