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Rookie Cop Helps Save Senior’s Life

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Not a bad days work for a guy whos only been walking the beat for three weeks.

By Thomas Tracy

He may be considered an old-timer, but 35-year-old Police Officer Greg Long jumped to the challenge of helping a Flatbush senior citizen who had lapsed into a diabetic coma in her Ocean Avenue apartment last Saturday.

Not a bad days work for a guy whos only been walking the beat for three weeks.

Fresh from the Police Academy, Long and Police Officer Brian Brown, a more seasoned cop at the 70th Precinct, were credited for the rescue, which entailed scaling a fire escape to look in on 61-year-old Vora James lying on the floor of her apartment near Tennis Court and then calling paramedics.

He didnt take down a drug ring single-handedly, but, hey, hes new at this.

Still, he and Brown were hailed a hero by James niece, Marsha Alexis, who approached Long as he patrolled a foot post along Flatbush Avenue at 8:30 p.m. on February 4.

They were magnificent, said Alexis. They went beyond the call. They saved her life.

Long said that he was monitoring his post along Ocean Avenue when Alexis rolled up, parking her car in a no parking area.

Alexis went up to Long to explain that she couldnt find a place to park. She was in a hurry because no one in her family had heard from her aunt for several days and she had to check on her.

I started asking her questions, and found out that her aunt was a diabetic and no one has heard from her since Tuesday, said Long. We knocked on the door and there was no response.

With Alexis becoming more and more concerned, Long decided to consult a more experienced cop Police Officer Brown, who is equally seven years Longs junior in age, but his senior in time spent in the NYPD.

Brown agreed that they had to check on the woman, and the plan to look through the sixth-floor apartment window facing the fire escape.

We were able to peek through. Thats when we saw the woman lying on the floor at the foot of her bed, officials said.

After ESU was called to gain entry into the apartment, paramedics took the 61-year-old the Kings County Hospital where she is currently on the mend.

It was great work, said Deputy Inspector Thomas Harris, the commanding officer of the 70th Precinct. Officers Long and Brown showed great tenacity and determination in making sure that this woman was alright.

With the cut-off age being 35, Long or Poppa Smurf to his colleagues at the 70th Precinct just made it under the wire when he took the NYPD entrance examination at 34, after a stint in the Navy as a helicopter mechanic and a truck driver in Florida. Most cops join the force in their early twenties.

During his first tour of duty, Long will be wiling away the days on a foot post on Ocean Avenue, a duty that even the most young and eager new officers find routinely dull.

Im having a ball, said Long. Im on a post, but something like what happened Friday takes place and that makes everything worthwhile.

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