New Community Cop Is The ‘Right Man For The Job’
Brust, a Nassau County resident who has more than 17 years on the NYPD, officially joined long-time Community Affairs Officer Kenneth Beecher on November 21 after Officer Pete Rahaniotis accepted a position at Patrol Bureau Queens South, and was transferred to the 107 Precinct stationhouse. Beecher, meanwhile, is eyeing retirement early next year and names of possible replacements are beginning to circulate.
Community Affairs is the unit one can call for non-emergency police issues. They are the 311 of the NYPD and can be spotted at every major local event in their signature royal blue jackets with “Community Affairs” embroidered on the back. They are the liaison between residents and the police. In many ways they are the face of the NYPD.
“I’ve got a good feel for the community,” Brust said as he sat behind a desk in the 100 Precinct stationhouse Tuesday afternoon. Brust, who has worked day patrols and the later “4 to 12’s” as they are called, was eating lunch and passing out wallet-sized 2005 calendars – a gift from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, of which he is the precinct’s delegate. He listed his top priorities as: helping the precinct “meld” with its residents, keeping the public up to date on what the department is doing to keep them safe and making sure the police “understand the needs and wants of the community.”
At the 100 Precinct Community Council meeting in November, the precinct’s Executive Officer, Captain Andrew Lunetta, formally introduced Brust. “He’s the right man for the job,” Lunetta said of Brust, who has worked in the 71 and 79 Precincts in Brooklyn and came to Rockaway in 2002.
Life has been hectic since that introduction. As a volunteer firefighter and the Webmaster for the Nassau chapter of the Blue Knights, an association of police officers who ride motorcycles for recreation (he rides a Honda Valkyrie Interstate, a touring cycle), Brust has been especially busy in the last two weeks.
In addition to planning for police presence at upcoming holiday events, he introduced himself at the office of City Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr. and State Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, visited St. Francis de Sales and several of the public schools, and has made appointments to meet with others.
“This is all I have time for,” said Brust, who is married, has two sons and is an Assistant Scoutmaster and Cubmaster, when pressed for a list of recreational activities. One thing he does enjoy, he admits, is pulling up on Beach 108 Street in the morning to sip his coffee, gaze at the shore and monitor traffic. “Looking out on the beach,” he said, “gives me a better outlook on life.”