Courier Life’s

Coney Island son returns to walk the beat

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You can never go home again, but you can always protect it from criminals.

Police Officer John Nevandro, the community affairs officer for the 60th Precinct, knows a little something about that – he works in a precinct that protects the Marlboro Houses, where he grew up.

While the NYPD frowns on cops patrolling communities that they live, they have no problem with you patrolling a neighborhood you were raised in, as long as you don’t have a problem with it.

Nevandro admits it’s a unique sensation patrolling the streets that you played on as a child.

“It felt strange at first, especially around the Marlboro Houses,” said Nevandro, who has been patrolling the streets of the 60th Precinct in 1989. He started patrolling the Coney Island amusement area three years earlier as part of the precinct’s summer patrol. “There was one time where we had a kid who had runaway from building 25 in the Marlboro Houses and I had to knock on my old door. I got goose bumps.”

Today, Nevandro doesn’t recognize too many of his old neighbors from the Marlboro Houses. Time has passed. Some have moved on. Others have died.

But the Marlboro Houses haven’t forgotten about him.

During last week’s 60th Precinct Community Council meeting, Bertha Corbett, acting president of the Marlboro Tenant’s Association and David Klestzick of the Kings County District Attorney’s office presented Nevandro with a special plaque for their native son’s years of service to the Gravesend housing project.

Corbett said that she wanted to present the plaque back in late July, when the Marlboro Houses celebrated their 50th anniversary.

Nevandro couldn’t make the celebration, although he wanted to.

Instead, a tragedy at the beach took precedence and he was called to protect Coney Island – his adoptive home.

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