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68th Precinct salutes fantastic five

Five police officers from the 68th Precinct, which serves Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, were named March’s cops of the month.

The officers, all of whom work the midnight shift, were given certificates for their outstanding police service at last week’s meeting of the 68th precinct community council.

“I wish they were all cops of the month,” said Illene Sacco, president of the 68th precinct community council. “They see a lot of tough stuff on their job. The midnight shifts are especially hard because they are separated from their families.”

Lieutenant Kenneth Noonan, who is himself a family man with a wife and new baby, was honored for overall improvements he has made. Noonan had the especially difficult task of taking over the post vacated by Frank Cole, who had committed suicide.

Last year (from January 1 to April 19) the 68th precinct had 24 DWI arrests, however under Noonan’s watch, for the same time period this year, there have been 54 DWI arrests, a tremendous increase, said Captain James Grant.

“He really took the bull by the horns,” added Grant. “It’s unbelievable what he’s done.

Noonan modestly declined to take complete credit for the achievement. “I couldn’t do it without them,” he said, referring to his staff. “They do the real work.”

Four additional officers were honored for a variety of arrests, the bulk of which were DWI infractions.

“DWI is something that shouldn’t be tolerated and the laws are getting tougher,” said Captain Grant. “People are learning their lesson. They know not to drive drunk in Bay Ridge.”

Officer Bryan Sandvik encountered a criminal who seemed to be right out of the wild, wild, west. He apprehended a man who was driving around Brooklyn shooting a firearm into the air while under the influence of Ecstasy. The man eventually threw the gun out the window and was unarmed when officers approached.

“At first he said it wasn’t his gun,” explained Sanvik. “But then he finally gave us a full statement that it was his weapon and that he fired the gun to show off for his friends.”

Sandvik also made one arrest for assault, and one arrest for DWI.

Sherlon Cromwell made two arrests for DWI and one felony drug arrest. “It’s all part of being a good police officer,” he said. “I just see it as another day on the job.”

Adrian Phagoo made three arrests for DWI, one for criminal possession of a controlled substance and one for assault. “I am here to serve the community,” he said. “Any time I take a criminal off the street, I feel like I’ve done my job.”

Yuroslav Shvartsman made three arrests for DWI. “I felt strongly that DWI laws needed to be enforced,” he said. “The community has been very supportive and I hope they feel safer.”

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