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‘It’s been a great ride’ for retiring cop

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He’s been a friendly face in blue from Brighton Beach to the Boardwalk to Bath Avenue. Now after a 20-year stint at the 60th Precinct, including the past four as the crime prevention officer in community affairs, Freddy Castro is retiring February 2. “I started when I was 22 and have been in the 6-0 the whole time,” said Castro. “It’s time to go. I had a good ride here and it’s a young job.” As the crime prevention officer, Castro does lectures on crime prevention at schools, civic organizations and senior centers as well as taking trips to people’s homes and telling them how to better secure their apartments. Additionally, Castro runs the precinct’s VIN (vehicle identification number) etching program and the CAT (Combat Auto Theft) program in which car owners have a special sticker put on their cars. If cops see the car in other neighborhoods late at night, they have the right to stop it. “Overall, I give the people of the 6-0 advice on how to secure their premises,” Castro said, adding that 90 percent of the job is being a people person. “We’re out there to help them and any help they can give us would be fine also. We work for the people and the City of New York,” he said. Castro’s friendly face and outgoing personality will also be missed among his fellow cops and others around the precinct. “Freddy is a neat freak and every time he comes to work, he wants to know what everybody is eating,” said Community Affairs Officer John Nevandro, who worked with Castro for nearly his entire 20-year stint. “Freddy is right there for us if we need a favor and he talks to elderly women as if they were his mother,” he added. Seagate Police Department Chaplin “Tom,” who is single, said a few years ago when he was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack, Castro called him several times every day and visited nearly as much. “Freddy talks to the kids in the community. If they are a little disorderly he will tell then to sit down and relax,” said Chaplin Tom. Replacing Castro as crime prevention is Officer Hank Stucken, who Castro calls an excellent cop with great common sense. As for the future, Castro said he hopes to work full-time in security for the New York Jets. “I’ll miss the diversity from the Russians in Brighton Beach to Bath Avenue in Bensonhurst,” said Castro. “It’s just been great, especially in the summer time – the beach the boardwalk. It’s been great and I wouldn’t change it for nothing in the world. Thank God I never got transferred and I love it here, and I’m going to miss it,” he added.

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