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84th Precinct Report: Officers Hunt and Condon recognized as Cops of the Month

January 20, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Officers John Condon (second from left) and Donovan Hunt (second from right) were honored as Cops of the Month by the 84th Precinct Community Council for all the work they’ve done in the pPrecinct community. Also pictured are Community Council President Leslie Lewis (left) and Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese

The 84th Precinct Community Council’s Cop of the Month award is usually given to an officer who performs a miraculous life-saving deed or who helps reduce the amount of guns on the streets. But this month it was given to two officers, not for any one specific deed, but instead because they are exemplary cops who have done so much for the community.

Police Officers Donovan Hunt and John Condon, who are commonly seen together on either Montague Street or Court Street in Brooklyn Heights as part of the 84th Precinct’s Downtown Conditions Unit, were recognized as Cops of the Month by the Community Council at Borough Hall on Tuesday.

“Officer Hunt and Officer Condon should be, by now, very familiar in the precinct community,” said Leslie Lewis, president of the 84th Precinct Community Council. “I’ve seen you here for years and it’s been a pleasure to have you here. You’re one of the reasons that cops like working in this precinct, because people like the cops in this precinct. You made people happy that there is a cop out here on the streets.”

Deputy Inspector Sergio Centa went on to say that if he were starting a precinct from scratch, these would be two of the first cops he would want with him.

“I thought it was long overdue that they get recognized for the job that they do,” Centa said. “If I had 170 cops just like John and Donovan, then I wouldn’t have any problems. Cop of the Month isn’t just about who made that great burglary collar … I felt these guys were more than overdue to get recognized in a forum like this.

“All the merchants know them, I see them in action and they know how to talk to people,” Centa continued. “If you know how to talk to people, you can get things done without using the other tools that they give us. If you are out there, these are the guys on the bikes in the summer time. You couldn’t find two more deserving guys.”

New Officers Arriving

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The 84th Precinct has six new officers patrolling the streets, and Deputy Inspector Centa said that he anticipates he’ll have a total of 12 new officers by April, once his team of “grey-shirt rookies” graduates from the academy.

The new officers are a part of the NYPD’s new training program. The grey shirts are currently still in the Police Academy and cannot make arrests or summonses yet, but are spending the next two weeks with the 84th Precinct so that they can become familiar with the inner workings of a precinct prior to graduating.

After the grey shirts finally graduate in April, they’ll join the 84th Precinct, where they will work closely with Field Training Officers (FTO) for six months before they get a normal foot patrol. Centa said that unlike in the past when an FTO would supervise anywhere from 15 to 20 new officers, there will be one FTO for every two new cops, giving them much more supervision than in the past.

“Now there is no shortage of supervision for these guys and I feel … that it’s an improvement on how it’s been done in the past,” Centa said. “We’re going to get some good cops not only now, but in the future as well.”

 

Promotion for Centa

Centa was the captain at the 84th Precinct for roughly the last year-and-a-half, but he was officially promoted to deputy inspector on Dec. 18, 2015 — a move that Lewis applauded.

“Deputy Inspector Centa is a star,” Lewis said. “The way he has handled everything has been tremendous. He’s a star of the precinct. It’s certainly a well-deserved promotion.”

Centa had been through a lot during his time as captain, from dealing with the shooting death of two of his officers, Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, to coping with the expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park, to an influx of new residents brought on by new construction to policing the large shopping district on Fulton Street. Already, as deputy inspector, his job is expected to get harder as the City Point Mall will open in Albee Square this May.

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