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Teens try on police brass for size - Kid commissioners see what it’s like being a big city crime-buster

The borough’s safety was left in the hands of children – at least for a little while – as precincts throughout Brooklyn opened their doors to “Police Commissioner for a Day” essay contest winners.

Following a special awards ceremony in One Police Plaza as well as a demonstration on police tactics, area students were then sent to police stationhouses and various NYPD units, where they shadowed the commanding officers taking care of their day-to-day activities.

Students received a chance to “sit behind the big desk” and bark orders, or at least give their insight on crime-fighting tactics, organizers said.

Many of the students were then given a police escort home, officials said.

Police officials said that over 120 students were given the chance to see how the nerve center of a police precinct operates.

The students were picked from a host of entries in the NYPD Athletic League’s annual essay contest, where students citywide were encouraged to divulge what they would do to make the city safer and increase police-community relations.

This year’s essay question was, “What steps would you take to reduce violent crimes and protect all New Yorkers?”

The winner of the contest, Queens student Gianna Lakenauth, 14, won the privilege of accompanying the city’s top cop, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, on his daily rounds.

Other top winners included Bragg Street teen Frank Sutcliff, who was given the opportunity to assist Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, as well as Joseph DeJesus of Brooklyn Heights, who spent the afternoon shadowing Chief Gerald Nelson, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North.

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