By Mark Hallum
Members of the NYPD and civilians took home awards at Tuesday night’s Medal Day Ceremony hosted by the 111th Precinct.
The annual event at the Adria Hotel in Bayside took the place of the community council meeting usually scheduled during that time and about 100 people attended to show support for friends and family being honored.
Deputy Inspector William McBride introduced the honorees and told the story of their actions, which earned them recognition in the past year.
“As of last Sunday, crime trends continue to show decreases,” McBride said. “Everyday the men and women of this precinct expend a great deal of effort, with cutting-edge tactics and precision policing, to focus in on the people, places and things that are causing the vast majority of crime and quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood. We continue to have the success that will benefit everybody who lives and works in the community.”
Supervisor of the Year Sgt. Jessica Michel has been responsible for day-to-day planning around the precinct, and according to McBride, has been performing the tasks of a lieutenant a certain amount of time.
“She takes on any responsibility that we’ve given her, without hesitation,” McBride said.
Detective of the Year went to Dessmond Bodon after his actions led to the arrest of the man found responsible for allegedly holding up J.D.’s Saloon in February on 35th Avenue in Bayside.
“Just one example of his hard work: He identified a perpetrator who robbed a local tavern at gunpoint just from his tattoo,” McBride said. “A crime scene video showed a perpetrator with a unique tattoo on his hand and the detective recognized this opportunity, meticulously going through the NYPD photographs. He made an identification and subsequently made the apprehension of the suspect.”
Police Officer Steven Rosa took home the Cop of the Year plaque for his involvement in the community, such as attending meetings and getting to know the community by visiting homes and schools, as well as keeping a general presence among residents.
“There isn’t a thing he’s been asked that he hasn’t seen through,” McBride said. “He really is an example for the men in this command.”
Spaa Mathews has kept payroll and administrative support for the 111th Precinct for 13 years. He took home the Civilian of the Year award. Auxiliary of the Year award went to Brian Eco, who is expected to join the NYPD as a full-time officer soon. Natalie Cepeda was awarded Crossing Guard of the Year, while Josua Feld earned Explorer of the Year. Retiring District Manager Susan Seinfeld was given the Community Service award for 13 years with Community Board 11.
Also delivering remarks were Councilmen Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) and Paul Vallone (D-Bayside).
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall