With the help of Captain Christopher Manson, the extended eyes and ears of the department reminisced of their years serving the community.
“I want to thank you for the work that you do,” Manson told the dozens of GCOP members.
Kurt Burger has lived in Middle Village for nearly 70 years, and since joining the 104th Precinct’s GCOP unit just after Sept. 11, 2001, he said he now feels like he is serving his community in a way that he never has before.
“I feel like I’m doing something useful and giving back to the community,” Burger said. “We get involved with a lot of the car accidents, traffic details, parades and we go out and try to catch graffiti artists.”
Burger was just one of the dozens of members presented with proclamations from local elected officials and letters of recognition from the precinct for their service in the community.
GCOP president Frank Kotnik has headed the group for several years, and said the dinner was a great way to recognize his team.
“This happens to be the oldest civilian patrol in the city,” he said.
Kotnik looked back over the years to when the unit found missing persons, kept the order in gasoline lines post-Hurricane Sandy, and prevented many bad situations from getting worse.
“I can think of numerous times since 1976, where if we were not there, some people would have gotten severely hurt,” he said. “When the 104th needs something taken care of, then we take care of it.”