Giving thanks to New York’s finest during the holiday season.
For the second consecutive year, the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) presented officers from the 72nd Precinct, which serves Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights, Windsor Terrace and South Park Slope, with challenge coins.
The idea of distributing coins started when members of Sunset Park Restoration and the BID wanted to present the precinct with a token of appreciation after the deaths of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed in the line of duty in December of 2014.
After toying with the idea of distributing pins, they felt that coins were more appropriate since they could be carried at all times. Tony Giordano, creator of the Sunset Parker Facebook page, said he and members were brainstorming ideas which led to him creating the design for the challenge coins.
“It was heartwarming to see the genuine look of thanks and happiness on the faces of the officers as they got the coin, read it, and realized the support the business and residential communities were offering them,” said Renee Giordano, executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District, who helped distribute the coins during several different shifts. “Many of them had been at the precinct last year and had the first one too, so we were glad to be able to give them another one to renew that commitment.”
At the midnight roll call, Renee addressed the officers and offered something new as well. “This year, we have added a small plastic jacket to hold the coins and a picture of the New York City landmarked, old 68th Police Precinct where the first female member of the NYPD joined the all-male ranks breaking the gender barrier,” she said.
Tony expressed that the group’s thousands of members wanted to also show their appreciation. “This was a sincere response of the Sunset Parker Facebook membership to the grief of losing these two cops,” he said. “While we have disputes with NYPD on a number of issues, we recognize the dangers inherent in doing this job and we wanted the men and women at the 72nd to know that we are supportive and recognize their valiant contribution to our safety. We want them to know that we stand together and we can work together on many issues.”
Renee Giordano and Delvis Valdes, representing the BID and members of Village of Sunset Park, attended roll calls to shake hands with each officer and thank them for their service.
“It truly is an honor to support the men and women of the 72,” said Valdes.
Officers were thrilled to be acknowledged by the community. “Thank you Sunset Park BID for presenting our officers challenge coins,” the 72 Twitter account stated. “Your continued support matters.”