112th Precinct Celebrates Night Out With Food, Music, Awards
On August 2, the Queens Boulevard service road between 69th Road and 70th Avenue, lined with tents and a stage, was closed for the 112th Precinct celebration of National Night Out Against Crime. Celebrants picked up free food tickets at one tent and proceeded to another for bottled water and hamburgers and hot dogs grilled by the Forest Hills Ambulance Service. A series of exhibitions featuring singers, dancers, martial arts and tennis players entertained attendees, who also watched as awards were handed out to law enforcement officials, community activists and firefighters.
The 112th Police Precinct Community Council President Heidi Harrison Chain presided over the three-hour-long program that began with a troupe of women line dancers from Queens Community House in Kew Gardens, wearing plastic fedoras and candy-stripe pullovers, performed to music ranging from “Hello Dolly” to a rap routine. SGI-USA, a Buddhist peace group, next presented three musical acts: a women’s sextet that sang “Rise Up America”, Bethany Weill singing Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” and the SGI Women’s Chorus performing “I Have a Dream” and “Yes, We Can”.
The International Karate Center, which meets on the fourth floor of the Forest Hills Jewish Center, displayed some martial arts moves and the West Side Tennis Club ran a net across the roadway and demonstrated some tennis serves. The people of the nearby Rhythm and Soul Dance Studio brought these acts to a close.
A crystal pylon was presented to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who arrived from South Ozone Park, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were also appearing, and then went on to Astoria. Chain presented NYPD Chief of Transportation James Tuller, at one time the commander of Patrol Borough Queens North, with a framed certificate. Tuller responded by reading a proclamation for the precinct that informed his listeners that more than 1,600 officers have been added to the force this year. Other service award winners included Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Christopher Tamola, who has been at the head of the 112th Precinct for three and a half years; Captain Ralph Forgione, since last fall the precinct traffic officer; Captain James Narron, in charge of subway patrols in Transit Bureau District 20, which takes in the precinct, and Lieutenant John Gavin, head of the special operations unit at the 112th Precinct.
The firefighting units of Forest Hills also received an award for their round-the-clock work clearing away fallen trees from streets and residential roofs in the wake of a tornado and macrobursts that swept through Queens, including Forest Hills, last September. The officer who accepted it was on his way to respond to a fire alarm and so said his thanks and hurried back to his vehicle, which was idled and flashing its lights on 69th Road.