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On any given day in the 67th Precinct on Snyder Avenue, Detective Leroy “Hutch” Hutchinson can be found in the building’s lobby, talking with visitors.
They’re either victims of crime, survivors of car accidents or the friends and family members of someone who has been taken into custody. But no matter who they are, at that moment in time they’re in pain.
Detective Hutchinson is there to take the pain away, even if only for a few moments.
But when Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, saw this daily routine, he didn’t just see Detective Hutchinson on his daily rounds as community affairs officer for the 67th Precinct.
He saw the spirit of Chief Patrick Brennan standing beside him.
It was because of this, and many other reasons, that Hutchinson received the prestigious Assistant Chief Patrick D. Brennan Cop of the Year award for 2008.
Speaking to standing room only crowd of cops and NYPD dignitaries outside the 67th Precinct on Snyder Avenue in East Flatbush Wednesday, Fox said that Hutchinson is living the example set out by the beloved former Brooklyn South commander, who died shortly after his retirement from the NYPD in the late 1990s.
Born in County Mayo, Ireland, Brennan began his career in 1959 as a beat cop in Brooklyn Heights. He quickly rose through the ranks to Assistant Chief, all the while sticking to his personal motto of “Go the extra mile and give the extra smile,” explained friends and family members, who attended Wednesday’s ceremony.
Chief Fox saw Brennan as a mentor and was proud to see that so many cops are following in the former C.O.’s footsteps.
“When we think of legacy, of remembering someone’s name, we think of street signs, plaques, medals and buildings,” Fox explained. “But Pat Brennan’s true legacy was that he lived a life to make others feel better about who they are.
“[Hutchinson’s] position as community affairs detective is in itself an important position because of the often confrontational job police officers have,” he continued. “It’s a great value to have someone who is well suited to communicate why police officers do what they do, and no one does this better than Hutch.”
“It’s a common sight to walk into this building and see Hutch speaking with someone who’s upset and turning that anger into smiles. That makes Detective Hutchinson an invaluable asset,” Fox explained.
Hutchinson, who joined the NYPD in 1986 after a stint in the U.S. Air Force and has been a community affairs officer since 1993, said he was truly honored to receive the Brennan award.
“I was thrilled... Brennan was someone I had a lot of respect and love for. He was someone I looked up to in the police department,” Hutchinson said.
“Hutchinson shrugged off comments that his daily talks with precinct visitors is above and beyond the call of duty.
“It’s all about people,” he said. “Everyone who comes to the precinct comes here for a reason and you can’t short change them. That’s the way I do business.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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