With another successful holiday season in the books for Dyker Heights, the neighborhood’s civic association on Tuesday, March 7 tipped its hats to members of the 68th Precinct who, this year, played their part in keeping the spectacular “Dyker Heights Lights” running smoothly, and residents feeling safe.
Sergeant Peter Jessnik, Police Officer Susan Porcello, Police Officer Richard Galletta and Police Officer Yaser Shohatee were recognized at the group’s March meeting, held at St. Philip’s Parish Hall, along with members of the 68th Precinct Auxiliary and the 68th Precinct Explorers.
The “Dyker Lights,” a storied tradition for the neighborhood which brings thousands upon thousands of tourists to the residential section of southern Brooklyn each year, has only grown in popularity — and, in turn, responsibility for the precinct.
“They were the police officers that were assigned regularly to the whole event, from the beginning to the end,” said Dyker Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone, stressing that the spectacle starts as early as the day after Thanksgiving, and runs until about two days after New Year’s Day each year. “They were out there day in and day out, every night, freezing, no matter the weather, and they did a great job.”
First and foremost, Valla-Marrone said, the officers kept everybody safe, but that’s not all.
“They also kept the traffic moving,” she said, stressing also that these officers had the duty of being the first to implement the precinct’s new rules and regulations for buses coming to view the lights, which was no easy feat. “They moved the buses onto the other side of Poly Place to keep them from interfering and going up and down side streets. It was incredible what they did.”
Coupled with a certificate of appreciation, the police officers, auxiliary and Explorers were awarded a holiday ornament for a job well done.
“Each of them got an ornament shaped like a badge,” said Vella-Marrone, calling the accomplishment a “team effort” of the 68th Precinct and also thanking 68th Precinct Commanding Officer Captain Joseph Hayward. “We felt that it was tremendously important for us to honor these officers, as well as the auxiliary and the Explorers, because this really is a yeoman’s job, and they did a great one. We’re very very proud of them and the job that they did, and continue to do for us.”