Burgers, Bouncy Houses and Bonding, at Night Out Against Crime

They were cutting the rug in the middle of the street, thanks to music spun by DJ Louie Brown. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

They were cutting a rug in the middle of the street, thanks to music spun by DJ Louie Brown. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

BY FRANK MEADE (Recording Secretary, 10th Precinct Community Council) | Chelsea’s yearly participation in the National Night Out Against Crime is about more than fun and games — although it has plenty of that, along with food fresh off the grill.

Started in 1984 and celebrated annually in the United States and Canada, our local observance of the event has evolved from a simple meet-and-greet affair into a robust gathering of civilians and members of the 10th Precinct who are deeply committed to neighborhood improvement, crime prevention, and the building of civic awareness and alliances.

Officers and residents mingled on W. 17 St. at Chelsea’s annual observance of Night Out Against Crime. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

Officers and residents mingled on W. 17 St. at Chelsea’s annual observance of Night Out Against Crime. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

Hosted by Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct, and Detective Michael Petrillo and Police Officer Salvatore Saetta of the Precinct’s Community Affairs Office, this year’s August 4 event (held on W. 17th St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves.) drew a crowd of more than 300 adults and children and 20 Police Officers and Auxiliaries who enjoyed games, bouncy houses, hot dogs, burgers and sodas while dancing, speaking with and — most importantly — getting to know each other.

As one participant put it, “We’re all in it together.  We’ve got to make it work, and this is one way to do it.”

Great music was provided by DJ Louie Brown. A highlight of the evening was watching Inspector Irizarry lead the Officers, Auxiliaries and civilian community in tearing up the tarmac in what appeared to be several well-choreographed and rehearsed dance numbers.

Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct, with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (left) and NYS Senator Brad Hoylman. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, Commanding Officer of the 10th Precinct, with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (left) and NYS Senator Brad Hoylman. Photo by Larry O’Neill.

Also enjoying the evening were 10th Precinct Community Council President Larry O’Neill and Vice President Vinnie Pizzonia, as well as elected officials US Congressman Jerry Nadler, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Democratic District Leader Steven Skyles-Mulligan, Paul Groncki, President of the West 16th Street Block Association and Miguel Acevedo, President of the Fulton Houses Tenants Association.

Residents who want to learn more about the 10th Precinct’s work, or express a concern about public safety, are encouraged to attend Community Council meetings. They take place on the last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m., at the 10th Precinct (230 W. 20th St. btw. Seventh & Eighth Aves.). The council is on summer break, to resume on Sept. 30.

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