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Whitestone teen becomes head of 109thÐfor one day

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Abruzzo's special treatment stemmed from his talents as a writer. He was selected out of 30 area participants as the winner of the Police Athletic League's Police Commissioner for a Day Essay Contest, for which he wrote a treatise on how to reduce violence in schools."I wrote about how adults have lost touch with the youth culture," he said. " Instead of just putting up metal detectors in schools, adults need to find ways to relate to kids."His ideas had merit and earned him a meeting with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at One Police Plaza Tuesday where he received a plaque. Although amped up for the ceremony, Abruzzo was forced to wait an extra hour that morning because Kelly was visiting a police officer from the 105th Precinct who was shot making an arrest that morning."That had a big impact on me," he said. " I thought it was sort of good that we started late because it shows that they have at least got their priorities straight."Following the ceremony, Abruzzo received his own personal escort for the remainder of the day while he observed officers at the 109th Precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace, going about their duties.Escorted by Youth Officer Eric Webel, the Whitestone resident said the event was actually more of a behind-the-scenes tour of the police station, as opposed to a full-on coup of the precinct's leadership, and even as a hopeful politician, Abruzzo said that was fine.While touring the 109th, Abruzzo, accomanied by his parents, Tony and Grace Abruzzo (a TimesLedger saleswoman), got a glimpse of several pieces of new police equipment, recently acquired after Sept. 11. He said items such as scuba gear, hi-tech weapons, and even a couple of bomb-disarming robots took him by surprise."It's not the kind of stuff you think your local police have," he said. "It was a great experience, much more informative than I expected."Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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