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Neighbor to Neighbor

Too many people do not know that the police officers who serve our communities are regular folks with families, friends, hopes, talents and fears. The demands sometimes made on them to respond to dangerous situations set them apart from the rest of us. What makes them different is bravery.

All that said, Assistant Chief Thomas V. Dale, commanding officer of the NYPD's Patrol Borough Queens South, proved for the fourth year in a row that his officers want to please and are willing to bury their inhibitions to prove it. When the fourth annual talent show was opened, he told us the participating officers had practiced their acts since the beginning of the year and hoped we would enjoy the end result.

We did. My hands ached from clapping and my vocal chords vibrated from laughter and cheers. My sympathies went to anyone who missed that show. Congratulations on a job well done.

I was especially fortunate to get a ride with Rose Funderburk and her family. We arrived before it started and were privileged to hear a pre-show special by the NYPD Drum Line. Strength and talent deserve appreciation for Sgt. Harding and Police Officers O'Brien, Montemarano, Ortega, Diaz, Howard, O'Malley, Bose, Thaler, P. Ross, Glucienze, Appletan, O'Malley, DiPaele, Ritsch, Alese, Lepare, K. Ross, Reilly and Papo.

The show began when the color guard presented the colors, the heroes video was shown and the national anthem was sung by Officer Kelly Valand. Inspector Michael Morley took his place as master of ceremonies with one laugh after another. Blake's Hot Steppers — Officers Dellimore, T. Leacock, C. Wilson, J. Edwards, S. Feggins, D. McGowan and M. Paris — performed a colorful Caribbean dance mix with two dancers on stilts.

Officer Lorrraine Twan sang "No One," followed by Officers Martins and Alvarez doing "DJ-Dance Mix." Auxiliary Sgt. Mel Werbel sang and invited audience participation in old songs. Officers Lindo and Alvarez gave us "Battle of the D.J.s." Officer Worthington sang "Girlfriend." Evolution, performing "The Old & New", was active with Sgt. Christian; Officers Ramos, Pearl Duhaney, Eagle, Gomez, Bolling-Davis, Thomas and Henley; P.A.A.s Frederick and Nichols; and Explorers Frank, Campbell, Speller, Shanique and Salena Varlack and M. Dunlap. Great to see a variety of ages working together. Lt. Michael Gleason's "Sounds of Sinatra" brought Frank back with "That's Life."

Officer Collade, in a beautiful blue and gold outfit, changed the show's pace with a gentle belly dance. Leaving inhibitions somewhere else, the Screaming Seagulls (Sgt. Albarane and Officers Granshaw, Strippeli and Granshaw) almost brought the house down with "We're Not Gonna Take It." P.A.A. Bell, Sgt. Rohan and Officers Fitzgerald and Ricci performed "Fire and Rain."

Stan's Pepper Steppers — Officers Brown, Q. Brown, L. Jones, P. Alvarez and K. Rocha — showed us the way Double Dutch can be combined with gymnastics. Officer Vinnie Ewart proved that his pal Gus still got it — much better than Charlie McCarthy and Edger Bergen. Officer Lindo, along with Explorers Campbell, Frank, Shanique and Salena Varlack, paid tribute to Tina Turner, followed by a duet, "Sometimes Love Is Not Enough," sung by Officers Valand and Fitzgerald.

Sgt. Christian; Officers Duhaney, Fergusen, Moe, Gomez, Thomas, Teagle, Henly, Belling-Davis and Pearl; and P.A.A.'s Frederick and Nichols showed us how hot a Seca Paradise can be. The Responders — Officer Andy Fitzgerald and Sgts. Rohan, Solde and Matt Ricci — told us "What I Like About You." The Rockawayz — Officers Moor, Hall, Schultz, Zelliceffer, O'Leary, Smith, Ferrante Jr., Jacquet and Alexander and Auxiliary Officer Seriano performed "Don't Cha," followed by Level One — Officers Ricci, Twan and Fitzgerald and Sgts. Rohan and Seldo — who performed "One."

The grand finale, "Celebration," was indeed that of a successful, enjoyable evening before an appreciative audience. You performers deserved all the applause given you that night. Thank you!

For those interested, the June 2008 "Queens Parent" mentioned that the seventh annual Vintage Police Car Show will take place from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. June 21-22 at the Police Museum, 100 Old Slip, Manhattan. You might also want to visit the Auto Safety Station outside the museum. For more information, call 212-480-3100 or visit www.nycpolicemuseum.org.

Don't forget: National Night Out Against Crime is Aug. 5. We're looking forward to seeing you.

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