CB9 initiates Sgt. Tuozzolo park renaming

Community Board 9 is pushing to have Noble Playground renamed after fallen Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo.
Photo Courtesy of Robert Christie

Community Board 9 is pushing to have Noble Playground renamed after fallen Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo.

Tuozzolo was allegedly shot and killed in the line of duty near the park by 35-year old Manuel Rosales on Friday, November 4.

According to CB 9 district manager William Rivera, the community board had been discussing ways in which they could honor the 4-3 Precinct sergeant since November.

In February, CB 9’s Parks Committee voted on and approved a resolution to bring the suggestion before the full board.

The entire board is expected to vote on the renaming during the Thursday, April 20 general board meeting.

Jamie Feliberty, head of the board’s Parks Committee, said Tuozzolo was a very important part of the community and he will be missed.

In addition, he said renaming the park after the fallen sergeant would show support for NYPD at a time when many police aren’t viewed favorably.

“Nowadays police are not really seen in a positive light,” said Feliberty. “We just want to show that we as a community are behind the police and particularly we really feel for those who have lost their lives serving us.”

Feliberty also described why a park renaming is a special way to honor Tuozzolo.

“We want to remember him in a positive way,” Feliberty said. “A park is a place people go to have fun and enjoy themselves and be with family and he was like family to us.”

“As parents we nurture and look out for our children,” he continued. “He nurtured us in his own way by doing his job as a police officer.”

Councilwoman Annabel Palma showed support for the CB 9 proposal.

“I’m receptive to the Sgt. Tuozzolo’s family, and the 43rd Precinct’s desire to commemorate his life as a first-responder, contributing to the safety and viability of the 18th district,” she said in a statement. “Sgt. Tuozzolo was a person that also appreciated nature, more specifically he was a big fan of the local parks; if CB 9’s initiative is in line–both in spirit and effect–with what the community wants, then I shall fully support them.”

Tuozzolo was one of many NYPD members who responded to a 911 call at 2:45 p.m. that a male with a gun had broken into an apartment on Beach Avenue near the Cross Bronx Expressway.

A few minutes later, reports came that Rosales was seen fleeing the scene in a red Jeep.

At 2:53 pm, a marked police car spotted the Jeep and officers approached the vehicle.

Rosales began firing at the officers with a handgun which lead to the fateful shootout.

Rosales was pronounced dead at the scene while Tuozzolo and Sgt. Emmanuel Kwo were transported to Jacobi Hospital.

Tuozzolo was pronounced deceased at the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.

Kwo, who was shot in the leg, was in stable condition.

Rivera said the community board hopes to also get Noble Avenue renamed after Tuozzolo as well.

The community board will also vote on the street renaming during the April 20 meeting.

According to a representative from the NYC Parks Department, standard procedure dictates a person must be deceased for five years before a park can be renamed after them.

However, Rivera said CB 9 will petition Parks Department to move up that time table.

He also said CB 9 plans to get support from the community, local elected officials and the 43rd Precinct to push for the renaming.

Reach Reporter Robert Christie at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at rchristie@cnglocal.com.

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