Chelsea Bombing Responders Among Honorees at 10th Precinct Awards Night | chelseanow.com

Chelsea Bombing Responders Among Honorees at 10th Precinct Awards Night

FIT public safety personnel were honored at the 10th Precinct’s Annual Police Awards Dinner on June 27, for their response to the Chelsea bombing. L to R: Mark Walters, Moises Felix, Vivian Nunes, Nicholas Camacho, Barney Bonets, Matthias Scholar, Sean Tucker, Mortimer Chillcott, Sandy Dickens, Bruce Etoumou, and Mohammed Omar. Photo by Jackson Chen.

BY JACKSON CHEN | The 10th Precinct’s Annual Police Awards Dinner reserved the night of June 27 for honoring the officers that keep their community safe.

The 10th Precinct, whose jurisdiction roughly stretches from W. 14th to 43rd Sts. between Seventh Ave. and the Hudson River, often collaborates with the campus police of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) at 227 West 27th St. and the Penn South security personnel at 321 Eighth Ave. The officers’ resolve were put to test on the night of Sept. 17, 2016 with the Chelsea bombing at W. 23rd St. that injured more than 30 people. A second undetonated bomb was found on W. 27th St. in close proximity to the FIT campus.

The efforts of Sergeant José Santiago and his officers led to the timely evacuation of the FIT campus near the second device, followed by a campus sweep for any possible additional threats. To honor their bravery and service in the face of a terrorist attack, the officers were awarded with a unit citation.

“Because of the immediate actions by Sergeant Santiago and his fellow officers, members of the campus and the immediate area were kept safe from a potential tragedy,” their award citation read.

Officer Mark Walters, who received awards for responding to the Chelsea bombing and for his five years of service, said he felt very appreciated by the honors.

“I feel very proud and indeed humbled for my long service award for being here for whatever incident is taking place and [making] myself available to the community,” Walters said.

And while the majority of the awards for the police officers of the month related to arrests for gun possessions or grand larceny, Officer Maria Candres was awarded with the December 2016 Officer of the Month plaque due to her community service work.

According to Detective Mike Petrillo, Candres was instrumental in helping out a young mother and her daughter who were living in less than ideal conditions. The officer visited the 17-year-old mother and her two-year-old daughter around Christmas and discovered a sick child in a broken crib and a battered mattress. After Candres reached out to her superiors, she was able to secure a new crib and mattress for the family and continues to visit them on a regular basis.

Awardees line up after they receive plaques for being the top cop for each month of the year. Photo by Jackson Chen.

Finally, Miguel Acevedo, the president of Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, was presented with the Rita Feldman Award given to officers or civilians for their exceptional community service and in remembrance of the community council’s former president, according to Petrillo.

“The person we’re giving it to this year has gone above and beyond year after year for us,” Petrillo said. “We need some eyes on the street… that helps us with bridging the gap between police and community. This is the guy for us that does it all.”

Acevedo, who hosts an annual event where police officers and residents can get together for an informal hangout at Fulton Houses, said he was surprised by the honoring.

“It’s something I enjoy doing because I want the families that live in Fulton Houses to understand the police officers are human beings just like us,” Acevedo said.

The 10th Precinct is located at 230 W. 20th St. (btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). Commander: Capt. Paul Lanot. Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Crime Prevention: 212-741-8226. Domestic Violence: 212-741-8216. Youth Officer: 212-741-8211. Auxiliary Coordinator: 212-924-3377. Detective Squad: 212-741-8245. The Community Council (on summer hiatus until Sept. 27) meets on the last Wed. of the month, 7pm, at the 10th Precinct or other locations to be announced. Follow them on Twitter: @NYPD10Pct.

Miguel Acevedo, the president of the Fulton Houses Tenants’ Association, received an award for his work tying together the police force and the community. Photo by Jackson Chen.

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