Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge throws party for outgoing 68th Precinct Council head

Ilene Sacco stepping down after 10 years

June 22, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Ilene Sacco and Dep. Insp. Ray Festino were the guests of honor at the big bash. Eagle photos by Paula Katinas
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It was a going away party, but the guest of honor isn’t planning on leaving, much to the delight of her friends and admirers.

Hundreds of Bay Ridge civic and business leaders came to the Bay Ridge Manor catering hall to congratulate Ilene Sacco, who is stepping down from her role as president of the 68th Precinct Community Council after a 10-year run.

The main ballroom of the Manor was filled to capacity with friends and associates of Sacco who attended the June 16 party to wish her well in her future.

But there is good news for fans of Sacco who admire her ability to bring people together to organize community events. Sacco, a lawyer with the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, will still be very much a part of civic life in the neighborhood she loves.

She is currently the first vice president of the Bay Ridge Community Council, where she played a major role in putting together the group’s dinner dance on June 4. And Sacco is the coordinator of the Summer Stroll on 3rd events for the Merchants of Third Avenue.

In addition to honoring Sacco, the big bash was also held to congratulate Deputy Inspector Raymond Festino, the former commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, who served at the Bay Ridge Precinct from 2014 until this year. Festino is now the commanding officer of the detectives’ squad in Patrol Borough Brooklyn South.

Both Sacco and Festino spoke at the party about the special relationship the police and the public have always had in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the two neighborhoods the 68th Precinct serves.

Part of a precinct community council is to operate as a liaison between the police and the residents of a neighborhood.

Bob Capano, a former president of the 68th Precinct Youth Council, a sports program serving hundreds of children, recalled that Bay Ridge civic leaders encouraged Sacco to step in to lead the precinct community council 10 years ago.

“I knew then, and still know today, that Ilene Sacco is a great leader for our community, and she has forever left her mark on the 68th community council,” Capano told the Brooklyn Eagle.

During her decade at the helm of the precinct community council, Sacco expanded the role of president to go beyond just presiding over monthly meetings and handing out plaques to cops.

Last year, she organized a “Summer of Support” project in which the council collected thousands of cards, letters and children’s artworks from all over Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights in support of police.

Under Sacco’s direction, the council “wall-papered” the precinct station house at 33 65th St. with the cards, letters and drawings.

Another Sacco-inspired project was “The Mother of All Baby Showers,” a party held at the station house earlier this year that drew a steady stream of visitors, all bearing baby gifts for women in domestic violence shelters.

At a Community Board 10 meeting, Sacco discussed her reason for putting together a baby shower. She came up with the idea after she helped a domestic violence victim. The woman, who had survived a horrific incident in which she had been stabbed by her attacker, “got moved in the middle of the night for her safety,” Sacco said.

The incident got her thinking, Sacco said. “A lot of these women get moved in the middle of the night. They leave everything behind,” she told the community board.

Sacco said she thought hosting a gigantic baby shower and collecting gifts would be a good way to support victims.

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