A 68th Precinct cop snagged Cop of the Month honors for September after making a key arrest that involved also taking a gun and a variety of narcotics off the street.
At the most recent meeting of the 68th Precinct Community Council, Police Officer Anthony Sciortino was feted for the August 20 arrest.
Captain Joseph Hayward, the precinct’s commanding officer, told the crowd gathered at the station house, 333 65th Street, on Wednesday, September 21, that Sciortino and his partner responded to “a radio run of shots fired” on August 20.
When they got to the location, they could hear an argument going on between two people inside an apartment, said Hayward, adding, “They also heard a firearm being slid back and forth behind the door.”
When they entered the apartment, the two officers were able to subdue the two individuals inside, and Sciortino recovered the gun, which had been thrown out the window in a pillowcase which, said Hayward, matched the bedding inside the apartment.
They then got a search warrant, which enabled them, said Hayward, “to recover four sandwich bags of cocaine, three of crack, 15 bags of heroin, five sandwich bags of marijuana, a bottle of steroids and a bottle of speed, along with ammunition.”
“It was a great arrest,” said Hayward, noting that Sciortino – who was recently transferred to Brooklyn South’s narcotics team – has more than 90 arrests in his career.
Arrests like this one, Hayward emphasized, are an important factor in the decrease in crime in the precinct. Hayward told his listeners that, over the 28 days prior to the meeting, crime in the precinct – which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton — was down 39 percent. In addition, Hayward said, the precinct is “down more than 90 violent crimes year to date.”
In large part, Hayward attributes this to a laser focus on illegal drugs. “So far,” he said, “under my command, 12 gun arrests, 35 drug sale arrests (for cocaine and heroin), 113 possession of cocaine/heroin arrests, 253 marijuana arrests and 140 possession of marijuana summonses have been issued, and we will not let up.”
That said, Hayward – recalling the ultimate sacrifice made by Police Officer Christopher Hoban, who was “Killed in an undercover drug deal that went bad” in 1988 — took the opportunity to remind his listeners that, “Taking illegal drugs off the street is extremely dangerous.
“We are only as good as the community that supports us,” he stressed.