102nd Precinct celebrates 100 years in Richmond Hill
by Chase Collum
Aug 27, 2014 | 1 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To celebrate a century of community service, the NYPD and officers of the 102nd Precinct held a ceremony last week at the 100-year-old 102nd Precinct. The building was erected on 118th Street in Richmond Hill for the meager price of $100,000, with construction ending in 1914. Jeff Fisher, who served with the 102nd Precinct for his entire 25-year NYPD career from 1984 to 2009, took the opportunity to reminisce with his old patrol buddies at the ceremony, where he recounted some of his most poignant memories from the force, such as the day a tiger got loose in Forest Park. Lightheartedness aside, Fisher had his share of dark days on the force, too. “A year or so before I retired, I responded to a call at 127th off Hillside Avenue where this guy was throwing Molotov cocktails,” Fisher said. “I’ve been shot at twice, too.” Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said that while in other areas of the city tensions are elevated between citizens and police, the officers in Richmond Hill have a great relationship with the members of their community. “If you look to the media these days, you might think police are everything but good,” Lynch said. “But out here in Richmond Hill, if you talk to the community, they’ll say there’s some kind of problem, but not my cops.” Despite the relative calm as compared to other areas of the city, there have been a few notable incidents in the precinct since it was established. Perhaps the most famous crime to take place in the community was the March 13, 1964, murder of Kitty Genovese. Genovese was stabbed, raped and robbed by Winston Mosely while 38 faceless witnesses - her neighbors - listened on without taking action for approximately 30 minutes. The incident led to the establishment of the first emergency phone number, then 440-1234, which eventually became 911. Another harrowing day in 102nd Precinct history was the eve of Thanksgiving in 1950, when an eastbound Babylon LIRR train carrying 1,200 passengers collided with a stalled Hempstead-bound train with 1,000 passengers just past the Kew Gardens station at Metropolitan Avenue, killing 78 and injuring 363. The 102nd Precinct was tasked with overseeing the site, and just over 12 hours after the crash, service was able to resume. Honored at the ceremony were the only two officers of the precinct to have died in the line of duty, Patrolmen John H. Ringhauser and Francis M. O’hara. Ringhauser passed away on May 7, 1931, after skidding off the road while responding to a burglary call, and O’Hara died in an explosion at 161-22 Grand Central Pkwy while responding to a gas leak. Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner, commanding officer of the precinct for the past two years, said his time in the 102nd Precinct has been the most rewarding and challenging of his career thus far. “I love our community, they keep our feet to the fire,” Sautner said. “It’s not that we work for this community. We work with this community.”
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Pictured from left to right are Murray Berger, chair of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Chief Michael Blake and Maria Thomson. (Photo: Megan Arfmann)
Pictured from left to right are Murray Berger, chair of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Chief Michael Blake and Maria Thomson. (Photo: Megan Arfmann)
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It's back to school in Woodhaven
by Maria Thomson
Aug 27, 2014 | 1 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pictured from left to right are Murray Berger, chair of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Chief Michael Blake and Maria Thomson. (Photo: Megan Arfmann)
Pictured from left to right are Murray Berger, chair of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, Chief Michael Blake and Maria Thomson. (Photo: Megan Arfmann)
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All of our youngsters and children are thinking of one trip this week, and it’s back to school. And for our Woodhaven Business Improvement District, it means our annual sales have begun. There are many bargains to be had on your award-winning Jamaica Avenue. This is especially true on Saturday, August 30, when your WBID will sponsor “Back to School Sales Days” with music from Plastic Soul, face painters and free giveaways, including American flags, “God Bless America” flyers, September 11, 2001 remembrance flyers, American flag keychains and more, all courtesy of your store and business owners that make these activities possible. So this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., shop while you enjoy the music, the clowns and free face painting. Shop, shop, shop and eat out in one of our great unique restaurants or order in with free delivery. There will be good food, great sales, and fun events only in Woodhaven. Last week, we had the privilege of attending a once-in-a-lifetime event: the 102nd Precinct Station House 100th Year Anniversary. It was a very warm sunny day for the invocation, the singing of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and statements from Borough President Melinda Katz, assemblymen Michael Miller and Mark Weprin, PBA president Patrick Lynch. Then Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner spoke of the history of our station house. After the ceremony was concluded, the 102nd Precinct officers dignitaries, community representatives and mounted police took a picture with the 100th Anniversary Commemorative Plaque. It was a wonderful inspiring day, especially since former commanding officer Chief Michael Blake (retired) was in attendance. It was good to see him. Officer Jeffrey Fisher, who I met as a rookie and saw him retire as a Woodhaven beat cop, was also in attendance. It was quite a great day. It was also bittersweet seeing the beautiful police horses that we had in Troop G at the 102nd Precinct until 2000. The GWDC has been trying to bring them back to the 102nd Precinct since then. Civil Service Exams are offered at the Computer Testing and Applications Center (CTAC) on a walk-in-basis. The CTAC is open six days a week. There is an application fee. These will end on August 30. • Police Officer Exam #5305. Testing days: Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday 1:30 p.m., and Saturday 9:30 a.m. • School Safety Agent Test #5303. Testing days: Thursday 5 p.m., Friday 9:30 a.m., and Saturday 1:30 p.m. • Traffic Enforcement Agent Test #5304. Testing Days: Friday 9:30 a.m., Saturday 1:30 p.m. Finally, I have two very generous ladies in our GWDC/WBID office, secretary Lisa and office aide/photographer Megan, who both after cutting their flowing beautiful hair donated it to Locks of Love. The hair will be used in wigs for children and adults recovering from chemotherapy. What a great gift! Remember, fly your American flags proudly above all others and replace them often. Wear your flag pin, too. May God bless our armed forces, our disabled veterans and may God bless our America.
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