By Ivan Pereira
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and dozens of members of his staff were on hand last week to honor one of City Hall’s top leaders for his work in helping the community.
Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott received the Queens DA’s office’s William Tucker Garvin Public Service award Feb. 24. Walcott, a lifelong southeast Queens resident who oversees education and community development for the Bloomberg administration, has been involved with education ever since he started out as a kindergarten teacher in 1975.
“Opening up those doors is something that’s greatly important,” said Walcott, who was joined by his wife and eldest daughter.
Brown touted the deputy mayor’s work with the city Department of Education over the last eight years. The DA said that despite his prominent position, Walcott has never forgotten his roots and has worked to make sure other inner-city children succeed.
“He is someone with a great deal of tenacity and courage and is dedicated to his career,” Brown said.
Walcott, a graduate of the University of Bridgeport and Fordham University, was a member of several educational organizations and founded the Fredrick Douglass Brother-to-Brother Program, which helps mentor young boys. The deputy mayor said he does not focus too much on the accolades he has received over the years and tries to work his hardest.
“I really like to stay in the background,” he said.
The award is named after William Tucker Garvin, the first black man to serve as a prosecutor in the Queens district attorney’s office. The assistant district attorney, who died in 1966, worked in the office for 14 years.
Starting in 2003, the DA’s office began handing out the awards to exceptional black leaders during Black History Month. Other honorees included U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), Gov. David Paterson and state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans).
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.