111th Precinct honors year’s best performers

Photo by Phil Corso
By Phil Corso

As it does every spring, the 111th Precinct in northeast Queens came together Tuesday to honor its top cops, but this year there was one honor that broke the mold.

Jack Fried, president of the 111th Precinct Community Council, announced Community Affairs Officer Bill Conway’s retirement at the group’s annual awards ceremony and thanked him for keeping the community informed. Over the past two years, Conway has been tasked with delivering crucial crime tips to the residents of northeast Queens.

Commanding Officer Jason Huerta said Conway’s exceptional skills and dedication would be missed in the precinct’s community affairs office.

“No one in the precinct knows more about what is going on in this community,” Huerta said. “We’re going to miss Billy.”

And in typical Conway fashion, the community affairs officer had little to say without being asked a question first.

“It was a good run and has been great working here,” Conway said. “I’m going to miss everybody.”

Six honorees were put up for awards Tuesday night when the precinct stopped to say thanks at the annual ceremony inside the Ramada Hotel, at 220-33 Northern Blvd. Top honors included the 111th Precinct’s Best Police Officer, Supervisor, Detective, Civilian, Auxiliary Officer and Explorer for their work between June 2012 and May 2013. The winners received plaques, which were financially sponsored by Liu Tee Shu, president of the Flushing Chinese Business Association.

Officer Evan Ostrofksy received the Cop of the Year Award after seven years on the job, Huerta said. Ostrofsky’s boss told the crowd about his work in the department’s anti-crime team and attention to detail, which helped him bust robbers, burglars and thieves through his roughly 160 arrests — 33 of which were in the past year.

“He has worked to deter crimes and save many members of this community from becoming victims,” Huerta said. “His vigilance and persistence has regularly paid off.”

Sgt. Alicia Manzer received the Supervisor of the Year Award for her nine years of service on the precinct’s domestic violence team. Before giving her the plaque, Huerta told the crowd of Manzer’s commitment to protecting the borough’s most vulnerable with a hands-on and vigilant approach.

Detective of the Year went to Vincent Gannon, who has been working with the precinct since joining as a cadet in 1998, Huerta said. The precinct recognized Gannon for his progress and experience, which has gone on to include over 400 arrests, Huerta said.

Jordan Tozitsky received Auxiliary Officer of the Year for logging more than 380 hours of his time this fiscal year, the precinct said.

“This department could not function without the help from its auxiliary officers,” Huerta said.

Barbara Rothman was honored as Civilian of the Year for working behind the scenes at the precinct for nearly three years.

The Explorer of the Year Award went to Bayside High School freshman Natasha Valentin, who clocked in more than 40 hours of community service during her time as an Explorer, Huerta said.

Looking ahead, Fried also announced the 111th Precinct’s annual National Night Out event, scheduled for the evening of Aug. 6 in front of Modell’s Sporting Goods in Douglaston.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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