Cops, kids and culture come together at NYPD Unity Showcase

September 16, 2014 Heather Chin
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The city’s only festival that brings the NYPD and community members together for a day of fun and family returned on Sunday, September 14 at Bartel-Pritchard Square in Prospect Park, courtesy of the NYPD’s Patrol Borough Brooklyn South (PBBS).

Firefighters and volunteer ambulance services joined police officers from Brooklyn South’s 13 precincts, which serve 40 neighborhoods ranging from Red Hook to Bay Ridge and Borough Park to Canarsie, for the annual event combining education with excitement.

For example, fire safety was on the agenda for the FDNY, whose red plastic helmets were sported by children of all ages all day; and pamphlets about domestic violence services and community justice programs sat on tables in between platters of Chinese pineapple buns from Sheepshead Bay, Mexican chicken tacos and burritos from Sunset Park, and popcorn and cookies from all over the borough.

“People come out to show the collaborative nature of what we do and we enjoy showing our support for the community,” said Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan, commanding officer of PBBS. “This is just one day out of the year to have fun, but we meet once a month with residents to talk together. Without community groups, no partnership is going to work.”

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Jerry Armer, president of the 76th Precinct Community Council, agreed, noting that the Unity Showcase “gets people to see what each precinct has and features the diversity of Brooklyn, with kids from all backgrounds performing, whether it’s traditional Chinese dancing or an all-girls drill team from Gowanus.”

In addition to the food, performances and safety demonstrations, all of the precincts chipped in together for a bouncy house and a rock climbing wall, which alerted families who were just enjoying a day in Prospect Park about the festival.

“We were walking to the playground and saw the martial arts performance and she’s been interested in taking lessons, so now she’s inspired by the young girls, especially,” said Jen Lipari of Windsor Terrace of her daughter Penelope, five, who stood riveted by the kids on stage.

The Murakami family of Park Slope agreed, pausing from their family bike ride to explore. “We just came through and it’s a great idea,” they said.

Park Slope father and son Brandon and Declan enjoyed the day together.
Park Slope father and son Brandon and Declan enjoyed the day together.
The Sunset Park Dancing Group were brought by the 72nd Precinct to perform traditional Chinese dances.
The Sunset Park Dancing Group were brought by the 72nd Precinct to perform traditional Chinese dances.
Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan, center, and Lieutenant James Woods, second from right, greet members of the Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol.
Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan, center, and Lieutenant James Woods, second from right, greet members of the Brooklyn Asian Civilian Observation Patrol.
A police officer helps the performers of the Coney Island Freak Show put on a magic act.
A police officer helps the performers of the Coney Island Freak Show put on a magic act.
Jude and his four-year-old son Sawyer, aka Batman, watched the performances on stage.
Jude and his four-year-old son Sawyer, aka Batman, watched the performances on stage.

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