A baby boom in Ozone Park’s 106th Precinct has some wondering if there’s something in the water.
Between June of last year and this month, there were 12 babies born to members of the 106th, including Community Affairs Officer Brenda Bratcher, whose daughter Miley Jeanette was born January 8.
“It was so funny,” she said. “This one was pregnant, then that one – it was like a domino effect. We went out [on maternity leave] back to back.”
Bratcher, 37, who has two older children – Davon Shields, 17, and Aliyah Bratcher, 12 – has been with the precinct for seven years; she has been a member of the NYPD for eight. Her husband, Richard, works at Columbia University.
The Courier Sun spoke with her on Monday, March 16 – her first day back to work.
The baby was with a sitter for the first time, and Bratcher admitted that she was happy to get back to work.
“It’s an awesome job. I missed working with the community,” she said, adding that her work phone was on while she was home. “I love my kids and I’m always going to be ‘Mom,’ you just wear different hats at different times.”
When Bratcher, who lives in Suffolk County, found out she was expecting, she said she was “very happy,” especially since she had suffered two miscarriages in previous years.
She worked right up until January 6, when she went on maternity leave. Miley was born three weeks early, she said, weighing in at five pounds, 11 ounces.
But because she wasn’t eating and needed transfusions, the newborn stayed in the hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, for six days.
“I’ve never cried like that, I couldn’t control myself,” said the mom. “Now she’s fine – she’s a screamer. The nurses were beyond nice.”
As she returned to work, Bratcher admitted that the hardest part was “getting out the door on time,” but she said that Captain Joseph G. Courtesis, himself a family man, makes juggling family and career “ten times easier.”
“The Captain is awesome,” said the officer. “I know if I ever have a problem I can go to him.”
Her colleagues have been of great help as well, especially since many of them now have children too, like
• Officer Evamarie Montanez, who gave birth to Leonard Nicholas Spano on June 19. Dad is Vice President of MTA police, Officer Anthony Spano; siblings are Khristina, Anthony, Evan, Scott and Danielle.
• P.O. Melissa Hacker gave birth to son Anthony Christopher in November. Dad is Nassau PD officer Christopher Hacker.
• Lieutenant Joseph Salvato and his wife had Olivia Isabella in January. Big sister is Heather.
• Sophia Rose was also born in January to Officer Valerie Cincinelli.
• Twin boys Charlie and Jack, born to Officer Russell Graziano and wife.
• Detective Rice has a bouncing boy, named Ryan Anthony.
Others who had babies were Sergeant Peter Iemma and wife, who had a little girl; and Officers Jacklyn Grasso, who had a girl; and John Eaton, whose wife had a boy.
And on Tuesday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day — Gianna Francesca Diorio was born to Detective Angela Diorio and Officer Tom Diorio.
As for Miley, Bratcher told The Courier Sun, “She makes my heart melt,” much like the other 10 babies make their parents hearts swell with love and pride.
Baby boom in 106th Precinct