A group of 56 new members of New York’s Finest, who will be patrolling the streets of Queens, received a warm welcome Monday afternoon by the communities they will work to keep safe.
The incoming officers, who were part of the graduating NYPD class on Dec. 29 and were assigned to Patrol Borough Queens North, were greeted on Jan. 5 by local leaders and NYPD officials during a ceremony at the Langston Hughes Community Library in Corona.
Patrol Borough Queens North is made up of eight precincts ranging from locations in Bayside to Ridgewood. The officers who filled the library’s second floor on Monday have been assigned to the 104th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 114th and 115th precincts.
Assistant Chief Diana Pizzuti, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North, welcomed the new cops to their posts and called them “ambassadors” for the borough, which was named the top tourist destination for 2015.
“You are our youth, and it means a lot to me to make sure you get the best training,” Pizzuti told the officers. “Queens is a very supportive community.”
Pizzuti also went over what she called the “Five Cs in Policing”: Community, Communication, Crime Prevention, Counter terrorism, and Character.
Pizzuti also spoke of the two slain officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, and reminded the new cops to stay safe while patrolling the streets.
“You have to stay vigilant. You wear the blue, you’re the target,” Pizzuti said. “Be mindful of your surroundings, not just at work but at home. Not everyone is our friend.”
Among the community leaders that spoke was Victoria Schneps, publisher of The Queens Courier, who congratulated and welcomed the new faces to the NYPD.
“You are the future sitting here, and I want you to know how much we respect you,” Schneps said. “We love our neighborhoods and we love the police that protect our neighborhoods.”
Seven of the eight precincts will receive six new officers. The 114th Precinct, which patrols Astoria, Long Island City, Woodside and Jackson Heights, will get 12 cops because they have more reported crimes, according to the NYPD.
“Keep an open mind and keep a positive attitude while you’re out there,” Pizzuti said. “Good luck and we’re here to help. We are one family.”