Today’s news:

Changing of the Guard: Harris Hands Over Reins to New C.O.

The top cop of the 78th Precinct this week handed over the reins—and a special pin—to the command’s next boss. Deputy Inspector Thomas Harris, the precinct’s outgoing commanding officer, introduced Captain John Scolaro, to the 78th Precinct Community Council offering praise for the man who will replace him. “I’m leaving the command in good hands,” Harris said. “There couldn’t be a better fit,” he added. Harris will take charge of the 70th Precinct in Flatbush, replacing Inspector Robert Richard, who is retiring. “Even though you’ve left me, you’ll always be in my heart,” said Pauline Blake, the president of the precinct council. Scolaro, a Flushing resident, grew up in Carroll Gardens and started his career working in Brooklyn South, and later the 88th Precinct. Most recently, he worked under Chief of Department Joseph Esposito, developing plans for citywide crime fighting strategies. “I know they are very large shoes to fill,” Scolaro said of Harris, who is known for his winning demeanor with local residents as well as cops in his command. The captain said he plans to offer a “fresh look” at protecting the community. To make the change in command ‘official,’ Harris handed Scolaro an officer’s pin, worn by the precinct’s top cop. Harris said he will not be leaving the precinct with his own pin though. “The old commanding officer took it when he retired,” he explained.

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