COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: As former president of the 68th Precinct Community Council, Frank Grassi is well aware of the importance of community activism. Grassi, who is a lifelong Bay Ridge resident, attended his first council meeting in 1988 and later served as president from 2000-2004.
“We held meetings to try to get people to understand community-police relations better,” said Grassi. “We organized police appreciation day, community picnics and memorial services.”
From 2001-2011, Grassi – an MTA employee till his retirement — worked at the Coney Island train yard and became acquainted with the growing feral cat colonies that had made their home in the area. Grassi’s devotion to animal care led him to familiarizing himself with the Trap Neuter Return project, or TNR.
“I take care of a number of feral cats. I’m up to feeding 20 cats every day,” said Grassi, who still cares for the cats despite his retirement. “I take them to the vet and have them neutered.”
MOTIVATION: Grassi’s devotion to his community has been a lifetime in the making. He cites the following as his motivation.
“I was born here. I feel like Bay Ridge is a small town in a big city. Bay Ridge was good to my parents and it’s been good to me. I just want to give something back.” said Grassi.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: “Getting people away from their television sets and getting involved in programs available in the community is the biggest challenge,” said Grassi. “I just want people to get out of their houses and take advantage of community opportunities.”
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT: Grassi’s biggest achievement involved making the most of his term as 68th Precinct Community Council president.
“We held monthly meetings with the commanding officer to express concerns with police activity. I took meetings that had always been held at precincts and moved them around to different locations,” said Grassi. “We tried to get people who normally wouldn’t walk into a police precinct to get to know officers as individuals.”
PERSONAL LIFE: Grassi notes that “everything I do is done with the support of my wife, Laura.” The couple, who have been married for 45 years, were partners in an independent videography business which worked hand-in-hand with the Police Department. Laura also served as treasurer of the precinct council for four years.
When he is not serving his community, Grassi enjoys photography and e-mailing friends.