For 10 years, Community Affairs Officer Gary Poggiali has watched 120 officers accept their “Cops of the Month” awards from the back of the room.
Now he has plenty of plaques to call his own.
Community leaders gave a final salute to the retiring, beloved cop with an armful of plaques and an earful of praises at a farewell party on December 3.
“Gary is one of the good guys,” said Community Board 11 Chair Jerry Iannece. “He deals with us and all the issues in the community, and he does it with humor. He does it with pride, and he does it really well.”
Poggiali has served close to 20 years with the NYPD. After one year in the police academy, he spent five years with the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn, three working patrol for the 111th Precinct and then a decade in community affairs.
“I know this community better than the community I grew up in,” Poggiali said. “I’ve spent a lot of time here.
It’s just another page. My mother used to say, ‘When one door closes, another one opens.’”
The precinct’s Community Council and a number of elected officials thanked him for his service, while poking jabs at him for “always eating.”
“No matter what, Gary was always there for us, always friendly, always went the extra mile to help our office out,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein.
Community Council President Jack Fried credited the affable Poggiali for the success of the precinct’s annual National Night Out Against Crime.
“If it [weren’t] for Gary, they wouldn’t be half as big as they were,” Fried said. “Gary really put everything into it.”
Poggiali, 50, plans to move and work security jobs down south in March. The new father welcomed his son Ryan to the world about two months ago.
His last day with the NYPD is in mid-February.
“This was a big piece of my life,” Poggiali said.
“I’ll look back and tell my kids stories of how I ran the neighborhood, how I was the commanding officer,” he joked.