While the 49th Precinct’s Cop of the Month award is often for officers who make high-profile arrests, the latest honoree was acknowledged for the simple act of commitment.
Community affairs officer Jay Sturdivant was praised at the June 25 precinct council meeting for pouring “1000%” of his drive to Morris Park, Van Nest and Pelham Parkway.
“You have no idea the dedication this man has,” said Deputy Inspector Kevin Nicholson, then commanding officer of the Four-Nine.
As a show of support, the audience gave Sturdivant a 30-second round of applause, rare for any officer receiving the monthly prize.
“He cares,” emphasized Nicholson.
Whether it’s spreading the word of an Italian-speaking con artist or lending his support to numerous civic meetings, Sturdivant has stood on top of neighbors’ quality-of-life concerns, said Nicholson.
Sturdivant’s reputation as a go-to officer has reached the point where residents call him before calling the precinct, according to Nicholson.
Even if he’s on vacation, Sturdivant has been known to stay on top of situations.
“You don’t get an officer that available,” said Nicholson, who credited Sturdivant’s mother, Gail Wald, present in the audience, for instilling values that make him a successful community affairs officer.
“That’s why Jay is the good person that he is today,” he said.
Originally a social worker in Queens, Sturdivant joined the NYPD just over ten years ago.
“I felt there was more that I needed to be doing for the community,” he said.
He has always been a Bronx cop, starting out at the PSA 8 housing unit in Throggs Neck, later transferring to the 49th Precinct in 2003. After serving as the housing liasion, Sturdivant was appointed as the community affairs officer in 2009.
“This is something I have a passion for doing,” said Sturdivant, who’s maintained a clean service record tbhroughout his years on the force.
He shared the award with his fellow community affairs officer Victor DiPierro.
“If it wasn’t for Victor’s expertise I wouldn’t be doing this for this long,” said Sturdivant.
Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383