Tag Archives: Frank Kotnik

Meet the new president of 104COP, Mark Pearson

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

After Frank Kotnik stepped down as president of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) last month, the organization needed a leader to continue Kotnik’s work and to help 104COP grow.

Enter Mark Pearson. Last year, he was the first vice president of 104COP under Kotnik. In that role, Pearson learned from Kotnik and gained the experience necessary to perform the duties of president of 104COP.

“He has done a wonderful job and those are some very tough shoes to fill there,” Pearson said of Kotnik.

Pearson grew up in Long Island and moved to Glendale in 1998. He joined 104COP in August 2012 after seeing a poster inviting community members to join the organization.

“So I started in August 2012 and two months later Hurricane Sandy hit and I was just hooked,” Pearson said. “I saw that I could really make a difference, even on the patrols. Even though the patrols aren’t [extremely] exciting like trying to help out people after hurricanes, but knowing that there’s people out there driving around looking for anybody that’s doing something they shouldn’t be doing, keeping an eye out and reporting things back to the police.”

Pearson has used his experience as assistant IT director for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) to help 104COP grow its online presence. His background in technology has allowed Pearson to redo the 104COP website and get the organization more involved on Facebook and Twitter, a main way to stay in touch with the community, Pearson said.

“One of my goals is to really gain a lot more exposure for 104COP,” Pearson said. “People need to know about us. That’s the idea, is to try to get the word out there about who we are and what we do, and along with that hopefully more volunteers will join.”

As president Pearson hopes to receive more funding from local politicians to help 104COP expand its programs and, in turn, its membership. Pearson said 104COP currently has 60 members, and he wants to see that number grow to 100.

“I want to get additional training for our members. I want to offer some sort of training back to the community,” Pearson said. “There is a gap between the community and the police. We’re trying to be a filler of that gap. Some people are fine with the police. Some people don’t like the police. We want to try to explain and show that everyone can work together for a common goal of keeping our community safe while keeping our quality of life as high as it can be.”


104COP thanks Frank Kotnik for 25 years of service

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

For 25 years Frank Kotnik has served the communities of Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and Ridgewood as a member of the 104 Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP), formerly known as G-COP (Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol).

During those two and a half decades, Kotnik devoted his time and energy to making those communities as safe as he could by organizing patrols, coordinating parades and lending help during times of need, such as after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy.

At Thursday night’s 104COP meeting at Christ the King High School in Middle Village, family, friends, colleagues and local politicians surprised Kotnik to celebrate his 25 years of service as he stepped down as president of 104COP.

As his final act as president, Kotnik handed over the gavel to Mark Pearson, the new president of 104COP. Although Kotnik stepped down as president, he will remain an active member of the board.

After the installation of all the newly elected officers of 104COP, the guests began showering Kotnik with thanks and gifts.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo presented Kotnik with a proclamation from the New York Senate, thanking him for his years of dedication to the communities that 104COP serves and for lending help to other communities in need.

“I will forever be grateful to 104COP, and to Frank, because a third of my district was severely impacted by Sandy,” Addabbo said. “And Frank led the charge down there for many of you members to help my people after Sandy. And I don’t mean a month after Sandy, but days, hours after Sandy, Frank was helping my constituents, who are still hurting. So for that I will forever grateful to Frank, so thank you.”

Kotnik was honored by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley and Councilman Antonio Reynoso with a proclamation, thanking him for his service.

“When I think of G-COP, I think of Frank,” Crowley said. “He’s always been president and the leader, and there is no other organization in the city of New York like G-COP.”

“As the newest member of this elite team here, let me tell you, I just wanted to say, Frank, I think I graduated preschool when you started at G-COP,” Reynoso said, to which the crowd erupted with laughter. “That speaks less of my age and more of his commitment to the mission of G-COP. A lot of people do things in short [stints], but he made a commitment to this community for much longer than that…and I truly want to thank you.”

Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct, Captain Mark Wachter, personally thanked Kotnik for helping to keep the communities he has lived in since he was a child safe for so many years.

“Frank watched out for this community when I was very young,” Wachter said. “Because of Frank and the members of G-COP, this community is still safe. So on that personal level Frank, I thank you.”

Wacther then presented Kotnik with a plaque from the NYPD, thanking him for his years of service.

Among the others that honored Kotnik throughout the evening were representatives from Borough President Melinda Katz’s office, Captain John Travaglia, commanding officer of the 108th Precinct, representatives from the 104th Precinct Community Council, and the members of 104COP.

Kotnik thanked everyone for their love and support, now and over the years.

“Thank you, thank you for the support,” Kotnik said. “One thing that was forgotten, I know everyone is saying it was me, but it was ‘we.’ This patrol is always, as far as I’m concerned, is ‘we.’ We were going to do this together…All I can say to everybody, thank you for coming, God bless you all.”


Volunteer patrol praised for efforts to find missing Glendale student

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Efforts to track down a missing Glendale student and honors for a graffiti-fighting cop were highlighted during Thursday’s meeting of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP) at St. Pancras Pfeifer Hall in Glendale.

Capt. Gregory Mackie, 104th Precinct executive officer, commended the civilian patrol for their help in the search for 12-year-old Kwan Williams, a student at P.S. 113 in Glendale, who went missing after school on May 11. After an extensive precinct-wide search, Williams was eventually found safe at his father’s home in Manhattan.

As part of the effort, the 104COP mobilized 13 patrol cars in the search for Williams. Units searched local parking lots and parks, including Juniper Park, Mafera Park and the Forest Park Bandshell and surrounding areas.

In addition to the diligence of the patrols, 104COP members also credited social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter with helping to spread the word about the missing boy. According to Mark Pearson, 104COP first vice president, the missing persons flyer was posted and tweeted to all of the local civic groups social media pages. It was shared an estimated 350 times online, and reportedly reached 35,000 people.

“It was a great showing of community,” Pearson said.

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit commended the use of social media in the search for Williams. “Let’s take advantage of the outlet we have and use it for something good,” he said.

Frank Kotnik, 104COP president, expressed pride over the effort and the search’s success.

“We’re out there and we’re looking to help,” Kotnik said. “It’s a good feeling that we had a purpose.”

The patrol also honored P.O. Justin Dambinskas of the Citywide Vandals Task Force, who was previously the 104th Precinct graffiti coordinator.

“He was one of the best graffiti coordinators in our precinct,” Kotnik said, adding that there were over 450 vandalism arrests and 2,500 sites painted and cleaned on Dambinskas’ watch.

Dambinskas credits the local judiciary system and the keen eyes of the community with helping win the war against graffiti.

“The District Attorney and prosecution in this neighborhood is the best I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “We’ve got people jail time and restitution. People are afraid to actually tag in Queens because of what happens.”

Dambinskas also thanked community and civic groups such as G-COP for contributing to the success of the precinct’s anti-graffiti operations.

“We got involved because graffiti was out of hand back in the day,” Kotnik said.



St. Pancras celebrates Irish tradition with St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre


St. Pancras School in Glendale hosted its annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance on Saturday, March 9, to celebrate Irish tradition and school pride.

More than 150 alums and residents of various cultures attended the event.

There were raffles at the dinner, with all proceeds going to purchase a new SMART Board for the school.

Although St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until March 17, attendees donned green robes, shirts, ties and hats. There was traditional Celtic food, including corned beef and cabbage, and women performed Irish step dancing.

People also danced to live music by the Boston Burglars, an Irish American band that plays rock and roll.

“We wanted the St. Pancras school alumni to come back and celebrate with us every year on this very important occasion,” said Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol president Frank Kotnik, who is a St. Pancras alum and was the emcee at the event. “You didn’t have to be Irish to come here. It makes no difference. This is a school, parish, alumni thing.”






Star of Queens: Frank Kotnik (President of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol)

| jlane@queenscourier.com


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: For the past 11 years, Frank Kotnik has been the president of the Glendale Civilian Observation Patrol (G-COP), an organization that patrols the area in the 104th Precinct in private unmarked vehicles and reports all police, fire and medical emergencies to the proper authorities via radio. He has also been the Democratic District Leader for about three years and has been involved with the St. Patrick’s School advisory board in order to raise their enrollment.

PERSONAL: Kotnik has lived in Glendale his whole life. He has been married for 26 years and has a 10-year-old son. He enjoys spending time with his family, such as going to the beach, taking his son to karate and playing Lionel trains with him. Kotnik also stays in shape by playing golf twice a week.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Trying to recruit new members. Due to the lack of police manpower in the 104th Precinct, G-COP urges all concerned residents of Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Middle Village to help us preserve, protect and enhance the quality of life in our communities. In other words, get off your rear and volunteer.”

FAVORITE MEMORY: “Meeting my wife and watching the birth of my son.”

INSPIRATION: To “preserve, protect, and enhance the quality of life is what keeps me going. I still have my 1976 Firebird parked in my garage. I would like to restore it one day and possibly take it around with my wife and my son, like the good old days.”