The Cityline Ozone Park Civilian Patrol (COPCP), an emerging organization founded in 2020 to serve the community at the height of the pandemic, received $90,000 in state funding from Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Rajkumar presented the check in a press conference before the COPCP’s weekly Ozone Park Pantry food distribution at Digby Place and Rockaway Boulevard.
This is the first official funding stream for COPCP that will help the organization grow exponentially, including expanding its popular food pantry and its operations to protect quality-of-life in south Queens.
“Every day, I serve my community with a heart full of grace, and today I am proud to bring new energy and new services to south Queens,” Rajkumar said. “By securing this enormous new funding stream for COPCP, I am empowering an emerging organization that has all the right ingredients to help our community. COPCP inspires young people to participate in community service, responds rapidly to crises in the neighborhood, and brings people of all diverse backgrounds together. Like me, COPCP is relentless in its service to the community. I am honored to secure COPCP its historic, first-ever government funding.”
Rajkumar also presented proclamations honoring three members of the organization’s leadership — President Iqbal Ali, Executive Director Mohammad Khan and Secretary Patrica Raghunandan — while the organization’s many volunteers showered them with congratulations.
For Ali, it was an historic moment for the community work in Ozone Park.
“When I saw the check, I literally had goosebumps. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to receive funding like this,” said Ali, who thanked Rajkumar for supporting the organization.
According to Khan, with the the funding Rajkumar has secured, they will be able to do more than they could’ve ever imagined two years ago.
“We founded COPCP only a few months before Assemblywoman Rajkumar was elected. Her energy and inspiration was vital to our growth as we hit the ground running during the pandemic, and she is always by our side when we are helping our neighbors,” Khan said.
Raghunandan expressed their appreciation for Rajkumar saying, “Every single day she’s out there fighting for COPCP and all of us. For her to do this for our Food Pantry, it tells us a lot about how much she cares. We all love and appreciate her.”
COPCP is a coalition of people who work at a fast pace to respond to community needs, engaging in any and all activities to benefit its blocks. These include operating a safety patrol, running a food pantry, promoting civic participation, conducting school supply and PPE giveaways, removing graffiti, and cleaning streets.
COPCP responds to concerns 24 hours-a-day, whether to shovel snow or guard a house of worship after a hate crime. The organization benefits from its members’ diversity in background, religion, gender and age.