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17 lay claim to Cop of the Month honors

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Some of them cracked major cases. Others have helped to build bridges between the police and the community.

In all, 17 police officers snagged “Cop of the Month” honors for their efforts on behalf of the 68th Precinct over the past several months, and a veritable parade of blue commanded attention during the October meeting of the precinct’s community council, held at St. Patrick’s, 97th Street and Fourth Avenue.

Among the honorees were the four cops who brought down the 93rd Street crack house that had been a huge quality of life issue for nearby residents.

While it took over a year for the NYPD to gather the necessary evidence, said Captain Jeff Schiff, the precinct’s executive officer, the six arrests made by Lieutenant Larry Burnham, Sergeant Dennis Bowen, Detective John Mazzella and Detective Derek Andreone represent a major case cracked by the department. Those arrested, said Schick, face sentences of 25 years to life, if convicted.

Also honored as a “Cop of the Month” was Police Officer Jeanette Figueroa, who, with her partner, Police Officer Sun Cao, chased and apprehended the individuals who had tried to burglarize a local bodega. The two officers, said Schiff, had responded to a report of a burglary in progress.

Detective Lucy Rosa also snagged “Cop of the Month” honors for her outstanding record of arrests. Schiff said that Rosa, who “specializes in robberies,” had made “some incredible arrests. She made 42 arrests for robberies. Forty two separate individuals are off the street, and she closed over 170 cases.”

The 68th Precinct officers who worked, over the summer, to make the precinct’s National Night Out a success, were also honored as “Cops of the Month.” They are Lieutenant John Loprest, Sergeant John Strype, Police Officer Thomas Byrne, Police Officer Anthony Curran, Police Officer Joseph Trischetta, and Police Officer Marco Venezia.

Finally, honored as “Cops of the Month” were five of New York City’s Finest, for their efforts in apprehending the Bay Ridge rapist. They were Sergeant Christopher Harrington, of the 122nd Precinct on Staten Island, and Sergeant Christopher McGibbon, Lieutenant Thomas Gulotta, Police Officer Colleen Canavan and Police Officer Salvatore Vitale of the 68th Precinct.

After the September rape, said Schiff, the 68th Precinct had reached out citywide asking other precincts to keep an eye out for information that might lead to the perpetrator. Harrington, debriefing a suspect in Staten Island, got some information about the suspect’s “partner,” who, the suspect said, “did some very bad things in Bay Ridge and would never go there again,” Schiff went on.

Armed with that information, Harrington notified the 68th Precinct, Schiff continued. “We got his picture and his name, and sent out an all points to look out for the guy across the city,” he went on. Then, Schiff said, the precinct “got information” that the rape suspect might be within the boundaries of the precinct.

The cops “went over to the location. They saw an individual riding a bike, looking at cars,” Schiff went on. “He was looking to break into cars. They wound up following him, and we subsequently apprehended him. We brought him into the precinct and we found out that this was the guy who committed the Bay Ridge rape. They did a fantastic job,” he concluded.

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