Jamaica Rotary bestows awards on cops

There was a lot to be thankful for at the most recent meeting of the Jamaica Rotary, from the promotions of Deputy Chief Michael Blake and Detective Gino Lopresti, to a job well done by the NYPD.

“It’s always nice to honor [police officers] because they deserve all [the accolades] they can get,” said Jamaica Rotary President Joe Iaboni. “Respect and integrity – you guys really demonstrate these [qualities].”

At its monthly meeting, at Villa Russo in Ozone Park on Wednesday, November 25, the Jamaica Rotary honored “Cop of the Month” from the 102nd, 103rd, 106th and 113th Precincts.

The honors are a memorial for Police Officer Edward Byrne, a rookie officer out of the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, who was killed in the line of duty on February 26, 1988.

Deputy Inspector Joseph G. Courtesis, Commanding Officer if the 106th Precinct, introduced Officers David Marconi and Andres Gonzalez, who, on the evening of Wednesday, October 21, observed suspicious activity at 122nd Place and 133rd Avenue. The pair continued their surveillance and noticed that the five individuals at the location appeared to be nervous; in addition, one of the males allegedly had a large object protruding from his jacket, which, according to Courtesis, turned out to be a 16-round magazine. The incident, he said, was actually a firearm sale, for which Marconi and Gonzalez arrested two individuals. “They also removed a gun from the streets,” said Courtesis.

For pursuing an armed perp, Deputy Inspector Kristel Johnson, Commanding Officer, 113th Precinct, honored Sergeant Sonia Christian and Officers Robert Morris and Kraig Hunter, whose wife just gave birth.

On Thursday, November 12, the three observed a male attempt to enter a location, and while fleeing, drop a “high capacity magazine.” After a pursuit, they recovered an AK47 and a 9mm handgun, both fully loaded. The suspect, according to Johnson, had a prior record, including attempted murder. He was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Captain Tim Dheedene, Executive Officer of the 103rd Precinct next honored Sergeant James Briones and Officer Andre Wesh, who observed a dispute between two groups of youths on Jamaica Avenue. Dheedene explained that one of the youths fired two rounds at his rivals. Following a pursuit, the youth, who allegedly had two prior arrests, was taken into custody. There were no injuries, according to Dheedene, but a defaced .380 handgun was recovered.

And, for his integrity, Lieutenant Robert Seaman of the 102nd Precinct recognized Officer Edward Herdina, who, following a November 20 traffic stop, did not accept an alleged bribe.

“I’d like to give you $500 and we can look the other way,” said the suspect, according to Seaman. Herdina called his supervisor and the man was arrested.


More from Around New York