Heroin Bust Puts Duo At the Top of 70th Precinct

By Stephen Witt

Two sharp-eyed and quick-thinking cops nabbed a couple of perpetrators, a loaded .38-caliber revolver and a kilo of heroin off the streets of Flatbush. And the bravery also netted Police Officer Mike Gaynor and Lt Gerard Hirschfield November “Cops of the Month” award at the recent 70th Precinct Community Council meeting. The events of the bust unfolded November 10, when Gaynor and Hirshfield were on patrol and spotted the two men dart out of 985 Ocean Avenue. They immediately recognized the bulge in the jacket side of one of the suspects as a possible firearm. “I saw them run toward the cab and that’s what got my attention,” recalled Gaynor. “He was getting the hell out of wherever he was.” The two officers went around a parked truck and approached the suspects, and upon frisking one, found the loaded firearm, Hirshfield recalled. “The other tried to push a bag under the seat of the cab and when he pulled it out he said it was, ‘pasteles’ [a Hispanic food], and it was, but in the bag was also a package wrapped with duct tape,” he said. The two officers knew right away it was some kind of illegal drug, but were a little shocked to find out it was a kilo of heroin. “I was 100 percent shocked it was heroin. Even the narcotics guys were amazed by it,” said Gaynor, who has been a cop at the 70th Precinct for four years and has received several other “Cop of the Month” awards. “Heroin is not big in the neighborhood. I come across it from time to time, but this was unusual. Probably a deal went down in some apartment over there,” he said. Hirshfield, a 13-year veteran, said it was his first “Cop of the Month” award in the 70th Precinct, but he has won the awards before working in precincts in Harlem and Queens. “I always wanted to be a cop since I was young,” said Hirshfield. “My great-grandfather was a cop in the 40’s.” Earning “Cop of the Month” awards for December were police officers Germaine Clarke of the community policing unit, and Joe Longardino and Brian Risano of the robbery unit. The three responded to a robbery in process call at 591 Ocean Avenue. When they arrived, Longardino and Risano went up two separate sets of stairs while Clarke covered the lobby. The two cops who went up the stairs were able to nab one of the two robbery suspects, but the other darted back down the stairs, where Clarke spotted a firearm in the suspect’s waistband and thus pulled out his own firearm, and ordered the perpetrator to stop. The suspect darted back up the stairs where he was tackled by the officers and arrested. Recovered at the scene was a loaded firearm. Clarke said his police training came into effect during the bust and he didn’t have time to feel scared. However, after these incidents you think about it, he said. “My favorite thing about being a cop is it’s like a movie,” said Clarke, who was born, raised and still lives in Brooklyn. “I’m the first responder to everything. It’s like being in a movie. I get the front seat. That’s what I like most,” he added. Clarke, whose beat includes the Flatbush BID (Business Improvement Area), said the biggest fallacy about his job is that some think police harass people too much when they are only doing their job. “Like sometimes I patrol the [Prospect Park] Parade Grounds, and have to make sure everyone has the right fields and make sure everything is going smooth,” he said.

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