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Teamwork, courage, observation — they are all hallmarks of a police precinct’s street narcotics enforcement unit, also known as SNEU.
This is the unit that observes and often makes the dangerous busts of street-level illegal drug dealings — and three officers from the 60th Precinct covering Coney Island recently received “Cop of the Month” certificates for their work.
As Deputy Inspector Robert Johnsen described the incident, Officers Thomas Miserandino, Jimmy Riordan and Olive Houston were on duty when they got a narcotic complaint in a building and followed it up.
Although the incident is still under investigation, the three wound up making two arrests while taking a loaded gun and an unspecified amount of drugs off the street.
For the five-year veteran Miserandino, joining the NYPD was a matter of serving the community at large and helping people.
“My favorite thing is when you get to follow the process through after you arrest somebody, and then you’re downtown and testifying before a grand jury, and you’re making sure that you did your job to the best of your ability, and you see that person put away,” said Miserandino.
Riordan, a four-year veteran, said he joined the three-man SNEU team because the work investigative and he gets to go after larger problems in the community.
“You always keep yourself busy with a good amount of adventure, and closure when you start putting bad people away who are on the street,” he said.
Riordan, a Brooklyn native, said he joined the NYPD after working several years in the private sector.
“I felt I needed a more adventurous and service-oriented type of work,” he said.
Houston, also a Brooklyn native, has been on the force four years and is the first person in her family to go into law enforcement.
“I just like to help people. My family was surprised when I first joined, especially my mother,” she said.
Houston and her colleagues said one of the most important aspects of working on the SNEU is teamwork.
“I like the observation part [of SNEU] where you have to observe them [perpetrators] for an hour or two, and see the transaction that goes on,” she said.
The three certificates were given as felony crime in the precinct remains at about the same level as it was a year ago.
According to the latest police statistics, there have been 1,283 reports of felony crime this year as compared to 1,278 reports at this time last year.
The felony crime tracked includes murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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