Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS
Officers Jonathan Combs and Richard Teemsma are recognized as 'Cops of the Month' at the 104th Precinct Community Council meeting in Glendale on March 27.

Two officers were honored for their standout work, and a dedicated former member of the 104th Precinct Community Council was recognized for his service at the civic group’s March 27 meeting in Glendale.

Members of the community gathered at the Shops at Atlas Park to see officers Jonathan Combs and Richard Teemsma, partners on the 104th Precinct’s conditions unit, receive the ‘Cop of the Month’ award for an arrest they made in February. Abraham Markowitz, a former vice president of the council, was also given an appreciation award for the time he spent serving with the group.

Captain John Mastronardi, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct, introduced his officers and told the story of their work that deserved being awarded.

On Feb. 13 at approximately 4:30 p.m., Combs and Teemsma were on routine patrol when they heard a 911 call for a disorderly group near Maurice Avenue and the Long Island Expressway, Mastronardi said. The call then escalated into a dispute, or a fight, and the officers started driving in that direction.

Upon arriving at the location, the officers observed a man matching the description on the radio running right toward them, Mastronardi said. Combs and Teemsma got out of their car, engaged in a foot pursuit with the suspect and made the arrest. According to Mastronardi, the suspect was among a group of perpetrators that allegedly assaulted an Uber driver and stole the driver’s phone right before running into Combs and Teemsma.

The pair was also awarded with certificates from Assemblyman Brian Barnwell’s office.

Mastronardi likes to put his officers on the spot after presenting the ‘Cop of the Month’ award by briefly interviewing them, but he said he also wants the public to get to know his officers more personally. The captain told the audience that Teemsma is also an attorney when asking him why he became a police officer.

“I like helping people, and there’s a lot of action and a lot of excitement,” Teemsma said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do because I’m from a family of cops. My grandfather was a sergeant and my father was a detective, so I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

When the mic was passed to Combs, he explained that his goal as a police officer is to work on the K-9 unit, and he told a story of how a dog once helped them locate a missing elderly person.

The attention then turned to council president Len Santoro, who presented Markowitz with his award. The longtime vice president of the council has done more for the 104th Precinct than Santoro could say, but he had to step away from the civic group because of the success of his business. Santoro said that losing him was like losing a left hand.

“If you ask him for help, he will do whatever it takes to help you in many different ways,” Santoro said. “He’s very generous to the 104th Precinct with both his time, and frankly all the resources at his disposal.”

Markowitz took a moment to thank his former colleagues and reflect on his time with the council.

“The 104th Precinct and the council was for me like a family,” Markowitz said. “Thank you for everything you guys did for me. I will never forget what Glendale is, and I’m always going to come back and see my neighborhood.”

Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS

Photo by Ryan Kelley/QNS




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