Bay Ridge

NYPD fans set to ‘wallpaper’ precinct with messages of support

October 8, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Ilene Sacco, president of the 68th Precinct Community Council, announced the Summer of Support in June. Eagle file photos by Paula Katinas
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The walls of the 68th Precinct station house are going to be getting a new look, but it’s not because an interior decorator is coming.

Ilene Sacco, president of the 68th Precinct Community Council, said her group is getting ready to “wallpaper” the station house at 333 65th St. in Bay Ridge with hundreds of letters, post cards, children’s drawings and other messages of support for police.

In June, Sacco and the community council launched “Summer of Support,” a campaign in which the group would encourage residents of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the two communities the 68th Precinct serves, to write message of support for police officers.

“We wanted to make the 68th Precinct a showcase for precincts everywhere and we said we were going to come back in the fall and wallpaper the precinct with all of the material we received,” Sacco wrote in an email to community council members.

“The response was overwhelming!” Sacco, a lawyer, wrote in her email. “We received bags and bags of posters, letters, pictures and cards. Thousands of people signed to show their support!”

Sacco and her colleagues will be visiting the 65th Street station house to hang the messages on the walls at some point within the next few days.

On Oct. 15, the community council will hold a press conference at the station house at 3 p.m. to present the “redone” precinct to Capt. Ray Festino, the precinct’s commanding officer.

The project has a serious purpose, according to Sacco, who said the community council wanted to find a way to stand up for New York’s Finest in the wake of an avalanche of negative publicity against cops stemming from incidents of alleged police brutality.

The 2014 deaths of Eric Garner on Staten Island and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, both at the hands of police, led to massive protest rallies in cities across the U.S.

The goal of “Summer of Support” was to collect as many messages of support as possible during the summer and then return to the precinct in the fall to display them, Sacco said.

Local elected officials, businesses and civic organizations all had pro-cop message boards in their offices for residents to sign.

In addition to the community council, the “Summer of Support” project was promoted by a coalition of Southwest Brooklyn civic and political groups.

The groups taking part in the “Summer of Support” include Rolling Thunder, the Neighborhood Improvement Association, the Federation of Italian-American Organizations, the 17th of May Parade Committee of Greater New York, the Brooklyn Conservative Party, the Bay Ridge Jewish Center, the Yemeni American Association and the Guild for Exceptional Children.

“It’s a big task, but we’re in,” Sacco said at a press conference-rally that took place outside the precinct stationhouse in early June.

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