49th Precinct Community Council’s 27th annual breakfast held

(l-r) Bronx Commanding Officer and Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen; Joshua Marte, Cop of the Year Award; Kerryann Mereno, Explorer of the Year; Captain Timothy McCormack, commanding officer of the 49th Precinct; Omar Valencia, Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year; Akeisha Neely, Police Administrative Aide Award and Detective Victor DePierro, Citizen Appreciation Award.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The 49th Precinct Community Council’s 27th annual breakfast paid a rousing tribute to the men and women of the precinct, and a goodbye to a 20-year veteran community affairs cop.

Held on Friday, May 22 at Maestro’s Caterers, this year’s event featured awards for top cops and civilians working at the four-nine, as well as a heartfelt farewell to Community Affairs Detective Victor DiPierro, who has been a ‘bridge’ between the community and many commanding officers over his career.

Joe Thompson, 49th Precinct Community Council president said that all of the communities in the precinct – from the Allerton Coops and Eastchester Gardens, to Morris Park and Pelham Parkway – were represented at the breakfast.

“I had a lot of fun, I think most people did, and I think we honored some great people,” said Thompson, who added that what he likes most about the breakfast is a sense of comradery and a feeling like it is almost “a family gathering.”

(l-r) Joe Thompson, 49th Precinct Community Council president; Captain Timothy McCormack, commanding officer, 49th Precinct; Detective Victor DePierro with his award; Senator Jeff Klein; Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj; Senator Ruth Hassel-Thompson and Thomas Messina representing Congressman Joseph Crowley.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The Cop of the Year award went Joshua Marte, who made over 90 arrests in 2014, including a bribery arrest when a perpetrator allegedly offered him and his supervisor $1,000 to let someone go.

Awards were presented for police administrative aide to Akeisha Neely, auxiliary police officer Omar Valencia, Explorer of the Year Kerryann Moreno, and a Business Fellowship Award to the catering hall that has hosted the event for years, Maestro’s Caterers.

The Tom Twyman Citizen Award went to Ostacio Negron Sr., who is a volunteer with the Morris Park Community Association’s patrol since 1992. He has served as coordinator of the patrol, and before that volunteered for eight years on the Van Nest Community Association Patrol.

DiPierro, who will be retiring in June, was described by elected officials as someone who was committed not only to the precinct where he works, but to the borough communities that he calls him, participating in graffiti cleanups in his free time and working as Community Board 10’s recycling coordinator before joining the force.

Tom Twyman Citizen Award winner Ostacio Negron (l) and Detective Victor DePierro, winner of the Citizens Appreciation Award.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

DiPierro was given a standing ovation before making some appropriate remarks. He spoke about his parents and his desire to make them proud.

“I just remember (my parents) saying ‘make us proud of you,” said DiPierro. “I just hope that my parents are up there looking down, and that I have made them proud over 20 years.”

The detective said that he was blessed to have been part of such a spectacular team at the precinct, and said he was happy to remain at the precinct for his entire career.

He said he worked to find niches performing different tasks around the precinct. He has been everything from beat cop to a leader in success of the precinct’s National Night Out event, with a yearly attendance in the precinct of 4,000 people.

(l-r) Melissa Poole, Daniel Negron, award winner Ostacio Negron, Sr., Ostacio Negron, Jr. and Jessica Negron.
Community News Group / Photo by Patrick Rocchio

At the end of his remarks, DiPierro said he would not say “goodbye”, but rather, “see you around” because he remains a part of the community.

Among the dignitaries present were officials Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Senator Jeff Klein, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Councilman Ritchie Torres, Councilman James Vacca, and Community Board 11 district manager Jeremy Warneke.

Thompson wishes to thank the larger donors to the breakfast, including Maestro’s Caterers in Morris Park, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Joseph Kelleher, Simone Development, Einstein, Calvary Hospital and Centerlight (Beth Abraham).

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
(l-r) Bronx Commanding Officer and Assistant Chief Larry Nikunen, Councilman James Vacca and award winner Detective Victor DePierro.
Photo courtsey of Councilman James Vacca

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