Awards and goodbyes at Jamaica Rotary

It was a bittersweet day at the Jamaica Rotary, as they celebrated the good work of some officers, and bid a fond farewell to two others.

Sergeant Penny Walthall and Detective Laurie Harnisch of Patrol Borough Queens South (PBQS) were feted as “two of the finest ladies in Patrol Borough Queens South, who have done an outstanding job.”

In the 103rd Precinct, Deputy Inspector Charles McEvoy said that “the name of the game is to reduce violence.”

Along that vein, Officers Deotto Douglas and Mica Robert were recognized for having taken a firearm off the streets.

On Thursday, June 3, the pair witnessed a large dispute of 30 to 40 people; one then allegedly fired five rounds into the crowd. After a brief foot pursuit, Douglas and Robert called for back-up and a perimeter was established. Following an hours-long standoff, the hostage negotiations team got the 20-year-old male to exit the apartment. He is being held on $15,000 bail and a gun was recovered. “No doubt they averted another shooting in the 103,” said McEvoy, who has done this himself.

Deputy Inspector Kristel Johnson of the 113th Precinct then honored her Community Coordinator, Police Officer John Haynes, for 19 years on the job as the conduit between the command and the community.

In the 102, Captain Armando DeLeon commended Detective Robert Salvatore for having conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of two women who were allegedly bilking elderly men and stealing their identities.

Beginning in November of last year, through June of this year, Salvatore observed these two take out bank loans, buy furniture, even have $15,000 worth of dental work done – all allegedly with their victims’ money.

In order to nab them, according to DeLeon, Salvatore even assumed the role of a dental patient.

For his “methodical work and tireless pursuit of excellence,” Salvatore was honored.

Another cop who exhibited exemplary devotion to his job was Officer Russell Graziano, who, on Tuesday, May 18, when he observed males putting items in the back of a Budget rental truck at Centerville and Cohancy Streets, waited, and saw other males show up to the scene in a stolen car, with a large quantity of drugs.

They were arrested, with burglary tools and a crack pipe.

Charges include grand larceny, possession of stolen property and possession of illegal substances with intent to sell.

Graziano received his award flanked by his family, including his month-old baby boy.

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