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NYPD brass salutes Coney Island cop

A no-nonsense Coney Island police officer credited with ridding the famed amusement area of both guns and the criminals who use them received top honors from Brooklyn South’s top cop last week.

Police Officer Richard Vargas, a member of the 60th Precinct’s anti-crime team, traveled from the Coney Island Boardwalk to Patrol Borough Brooklyn South headquarters in East Flatbush for a brief meet with Brooklyn South commander Chief Joseph Fox, who named him Brooklyn South “Cop of the Month.”

The singular honor — he was selected out of all of the cops in the 13 precincts under Brooklyn South’s umbrella — wasn’t for just one or two daring arrests, but for his stellar record as a crime fighter.

“Richie is one of the finest 60 cops,” explained Inspector Robert Johnsen, the commanding officer of the 60th Precinct, who attended the award ceremony along with members of Vargas’ anti-crime team. “He is a true crime fighter and compassionate about the community.”

“As a borough commander who gets to witness the great work of police officers and supervisors all throughout Brooklyn South day in and day out, it gives me particular pride to recognize outstanding officers in this kind of forum,” Chief Fox explained.

Also on hand to celebrate the special day was Vargas’ wife and son Richard Jr. who managed to get some face time with Chief Fox.

“The fact that Officer Vargas brought his son and his wife makes it even more special,” he said. “It became a family event that made it even more special for me, Officer Vargas and his entire team.”

The ever humble Vargas accepted the special award noting that he couldn’t have made a third of the arrests he’s been credited with without the help of the rest of his anti-crime team.

The elite team of officers, who were recently honored for taking two guns off the streets last November, is responsible for again helping the 60th Precinct bring crime down in Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Seagate.

Recent NYPD statistics show that felony crime in the 60th Precinct dropped by just over two percent in 2008.

Over the last seven years, the 60th Precinct’s anti-crime team has played an integral role in reducing crime by nearly 12 percent.

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