Today’s news:

Neighbor to Neighbor: NYPD officers receive well-deserved awards

Some 6,000 children and adults attended the Patrol Borough Queens South Command’s Harmony Picnic on a very sunny, hot July 24.

The officers scheduled to cook the frankfurters and hamburgers for the 11 a.m. picnic must have arrived at the crack of dawn,” because the charcoal was already showing signs of gray when I came at 9:30 and I could see little heat waves rising from the kettle grills, making the 90 plus temperatures rise a bit within the area. For a few minutes I considered asking for a transfer to the dunk tank, but before I could offer that suggestion to anyone, we started separating the solidly iced franks and burgers, readying to feed them to the throngs that had already started coming into the food zone, asking for sodas, chips, or whatever they could get from the rest of the food crew, scrambling to set things up under that big, blue, N.Y.P.D. tent.

All the people who worked in our area deserve a pat on the back, because everyone was good-natured and cooperative — even when a couple or adults who were supposed to keep the youngsters supervised let one or two get out of control. We were all disappointed at that, especially when a teenage girl threw a bottle that hit one of the sergeants whose back was to her while he was grilling hot dogs. She told him it was an accident, but if the bottle hadn’t been thrown, the “accident” wouldn’t have happened.

Although we didn’t see any of the rest of activities that day, we were told there was plenty going on. One of the things I am really sorry I missed was the presentation of awards by Carol Conflato, director of Queens public affairs for Con Edison, to three Patrol Borough Queens South Command N.Y.P.D. officers: Darryl Dow of the l06th Precinct, and John Barratt and Edward Garrity, both of the 113th Precinct. The awards are veil-deserved. P.O. Dow had responded to a call, burglary in progress. He not only captured the perpetrator without incident, he recovered the stolen property. Then, during questioning, the burglar confessed to a previous burglary.

P.O. Barratt and P.O. Garrity came upon a woman lying in the road after she was attacked by a rapist with an ax. The perpetrator was disarmed and captured. The officers then took the injured victim to the hospital and we are told she will be all right. We understand that Asssistant Chief Thomas Lawless and Inspector William Morris, P.O Dow’s mother was present for the ceremony, as was Sgt. Schoonmarker of Pct. 113, to applaud the work of these officers. We weren’t there to join them on the 24th, but we certainly do so now.

We really wish more of the good work done by those who serve us would be acknowledged publicly so well. Those who are always ready to put in a politically correct word seem to delight in saying or writing only the negative about the police. I hope that some day, these same people learn just how fortunate we are have so many brave, dedicated people with us.

On the Parks 2001 campaign front, a Meet the Candidates Night was held in the Faculty Dining Room of York College on July 26. The room was beautifully decorated in red, white, and blue EVERYWHERE. It was like I imagine the political conventions are — hats, pinwheels, balloons, tablecloths, everything, all red, white, and blue, and beautiful. Fred Kress, president of Queens Council for Parks, took care of ordering all the food that was set up by the folks from Parks 2001 to feed the 150 attendees well. We are grateful that so many candidates joined us for the festivities and signed the pledge to make 1 percent of the N.Y.C. budget available for use by the Department or Parks and Recreation. Keeping vandalism and other crime out of the parks and maintaining that property as it should be is an important goal.

Please support this movement. Call 212-490-1446 to find out how.

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