The meeting of the Jamaica Rotary began with a prayer for police officers — beloved brothers and sisters in blue, fighting to protect the residents of New York City.
Joe Iaboni, president of the Jamaica Rotary, bowed his head as he recited the prayer. He paused to mention Edward Byrne, a young officer viciously killed in the line of duty by a known drug dealer. Since Officer Byrne’s tragic death, local precincts began honoring stand-out officers for their exceptional work.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio spoke to the crowd on Wednesday, February 29, thanking members of the NYPD for their hard work and dedication.
“There are so many people with heart, energy and spirit in this city,” said de Blasio. “There are so many New Yorkers who take the time to make the city better for others.”
Iaboni then feted the “Officers of the Month.”
From the 103rd Precinct, Officers Dave Strom and Thomas Kosak were praised for their success in apprehending three individuals who allegedly stole a man’s iPhone. Officers Harris and Sogluizzo, from the 102nd Precinct, were also recognized for their victorious take down of a man who stole a 12-year-old’s iPhone.
Officers Jeronnie Glanville and Greg Vallerugo from the 113th Precinct were awarded for catching a suspect yielding a knife.
Captain Thomas Pascale, commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, spoke about an individual recently apprehended for a string of breaking and entering incidents. The perpetrator reportedly hunted for victims by ringing doorbells to see if residents were home. If someone answered, the suspect would ask for a person by a random name and pretend like he had the wrong house. If homes were empty, he would proceed to break in.
Assistant Chief James Secreto, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens South, then addressed the audience, sharing a story about how his granddaughter had recently been robbed in Brooklyn on her way home from school — another in a string of iPhone robberies throughout the city.
He also spoke of the immense pride he feels from working with such a strong police force.
“I am proud to wear this uniform and stand shoulder to shoulder with you,” he said.