2006-03-31 / Columnists


By Joanie Omeste, Executive Director, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce

JOANIE OMESTEJOANIE OMESTE I had the great pleasure of attending the Patrol Borough Queens South talent show on March 9 at York College. Not only was it impressive, it was just so much fun. Produced by Chief Thomas Dale and hosted by Rockaways own version of Jay Leno, Inspector Michael Morley, the entire evening was a hit. The 100 Precinct's Screaming Seagulls performed Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" and the 101 Precinct had a steamy number performed by The Rockawayz, Peggy Lee's "Fever." The auditorium was filled with screaming fans and supporters from all of the precincts.

It's time for the Rockaway Chambers annual salute to our heroes, the Bravest & Finest Luncheon, which will be held on Thursday, April 20 at 12:30 p.m. at Russo's on the Bay. Tickets will be $40 and all are welcome. The Fire Department will be honoring the group of firefighters who went to New Orleans to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Fire Department was overwhelmed; much of their equipment destroyed and their members had their own personal tragedies to deal with. The call went out for help and the NYFD was quick to answer. Rockaway's Battalion 47 had so many volunteers for this assignment, many had to be turned away. A total of 17 members went to New Orleans to man their firehouses. They responded to several large fires including some on the beloved Bourbon Street. When the firefighters were off duty, they went to their counterpart New Orleans firefighters' homes to help their families with clean up and assistance. In alphabetical order: FF Joseph Cavanaugh, FF Michael Courtney, FF Paul Dieringer, FF Gerard Ferrin, FF Christopher Fields, FF Robert Gates, Lt. Larry Keiley, FF Glen Malik, FF Michael McConnon, FF Kevin Miller, FF Daniel Moltisanti, FF Gary O'Hal, FF Brett Roslow, FF Gregory Ruggero, FF Kevin Shannon, FF Timothy Smith, Captain Kenneth Whelan and, of course, the inexhaustible Chief Michael McGrath. Our hats go off to them all.

Police Officer Andrew Moreno has been selected to be the Transit District 23 recipient of the Bravest & Finest Award. PO Moreno is assigned to the District's Truancy Unit where he serves as a school coordinator. PO Moreno is the senior member of the unit and thereby serves as a resource to other members due to his knowledge and experience. He has established a superior working relationship with the local school administrators as well as his counterparts in the local precincts, and successfully seeks out information of criminality, conflicts and pending tensions to successfully defuse situations. Officer Moreno is respected and admired by the children who often approach him for advice or assistance and personifies the best of the NYPD.

P.O. Dennis Darcy has been with the 100 Precinct for the past 20 years. Officer Darcy has a wide array of experience including Anti-Crime, Conditions and Latent Prints. It is with his passion to the department and the community that he so enjoys to serve and has taken on the responsibility of training newly assigned officers. He passes on his experience, knowledge and history of the command with an unassuming demeanor and pride. He ensures that the command and the community receive the same quality of Police Officers it has come to know and appreciate. It is his positive attitude that has gained him the respect and confidence of his peers and elected him as 100 Precinct Delegate. He is admired by his peers, supervisors and the community equally.

Also from the 100 Precinct is P.O. John Purcell. For the entirety of calendar year 2005, P.O. Purcell was assigned to the 100 Precinct Housing Unit. His activity during that time made him amongst the highest in the command. His year-end totals include 59 arrests, including 16 felonies. In addition, he returned 21 individuals who were wanted on 27 individual warrants. P.O. Purcell was also the arresting officer on numerous search warrants both on and off N.Y.C.H.A. property. And last, but not least, of his contributions were his 5 P.D.U. apprehensions. He always follows up on arrests by attending all court appearances and maintaining contact with the assigned ADA's to full fruition. In addition P.O. Purcell assists the command's Field Intelligence Officer with all pre-warrant workups. All of P.O. Purcell's hard work is self initiated and has directly affected the Housing Unit's 5% drop in crime during 2005.

Next week please look for the rest of the honorees. From Emergency Medical Services - "The Best" - EMT Sarah Lynch and Paramedic Murat "Mark" Olgun. From the 101 Precinct, PO Jackie Napolitano and Lt. Gary Messina.

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