The 49th Precinct paid tribute to police personnel and civilians who strive to make the precinct a safe place to live and work.
The precinct and its community council held its 23rd Annual Fellowship Conference and Breakfast on Friday, May 20 at Maestro’s, where eight outstanding individuals were honored.
Awards were presented to Cop of the Year Sergeant Ryan Hughes, Police Administrative Aide Ethel Marie Fasanaro, Auxiliary Officer of the Year Hazel Miura, Explorer of the Year Cathy Colon, the Thomas Twyman Citizenship Award to Zena Twyman, Business Fellowship Award presented to Miguel Garcia of Big Deal Supermarket, and certificates of appreciation to John Fratta, former Community Board 11 district manager and Lisa Fuentes, the principal of Christopher Columbus High School.
“We did exactly what we always strive to do at this breakfast,” said Joe Thompson, president of the 49th Precinct Community Council. “It has always been about bringing the community together with police and businesses.”
He was proud of the display of diversity, and said that members of every ethnic group from every corner of the precinct have to play a role in working together with cops to make the area a better place.
“We had people from the Jewish, Albanian, Muslim, black, and Hispanic communities, as well as representatives from every community association in the precinct,” Thompson said. “Our idea is to come together for a common goal which is to honor both our police officers and the people who make the communities safer.”
The Cop of the Year, presented to Hughes, was an appropriate accommodation, because he is someone that Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson always counts on to break down burglary and robbery criminal patterns with his team, Thompson said.
“Sergeant Hughes is one of the most active people in the 49th Precinct,” Thompson said. “The inspector has often said that he is one person he depends on and cannot do without.”
Award winner Miguel Garcia of Big Deal Supermarket at 1018 Morris Park Avenue said that he believes supporting community institutions is important both as a merchant and a Morris Park resident.
“I live in the community and it is very important that we support schools, churches and synagogues as they are the pillars of this community,” Garcia said shortly after receiving his award. “Anything that helps the children or elderly, or increases our safety and security, is something that we want to be a part of.”
For award recipient Zena Twyman, the honor was even greater because the award she received was named after her late husband.
“When I heard about the award, I was speechless,” Twyman said. “It is my husband’s award because he was one of the original founders of the Van Nest Community Association. That was 32 years ago, and I am still on patrol.”
Performing songs during the event was the P.S. 83 choir. The school was selected as a reward for collecting 1,500 pounds of food for the annual holiday food drive the 49th Precinct holds every year, Thompson stated.