By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Their successful effort in finding a yeshiva student from Kensington who went missing for four days earned members of a citizen patrol group and a police sergeant praise and citations from elected officials during a City Hall ceremony.
In a ceremony held on Dec. 19, Councilman David Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Bensonhurst-Kensington), Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Flatbush), and Council Speaker Christine Quinn honored New York Police Department Sgt. Michael O’Hare and members of Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, a volunteer group, for their efforts in finding Tzvi Stolzenberg, a 17-year-old yeshiva student who went missing for four days following Yom Kippur in September.
Members of the teen’s family including his mother, Nechama Stolzenberg, were also on hand to thank the officer and volunteers for their work.
“We are fortunate to have outstanding members of the NYPD and safety patrol volunteers watching out for us and responding in times of need. It was remarkable to see so many people immediately respond to the call for action when this incident occurred, and it was a great reminder about how much our neighbors care for one another. As a result of outstanding police work by Sgt. Michael O’Hare and the exhaustive search effort led by Flatbush Shomrim, this story has a happy ending,” Greenfield said.
“Often times in situations like this there is not a good ending, so it is a huge relief how it worked out. I thank Sgt. Michael O'Hare and all of the Shomrim members for bringing a positive outcome to what had been a number of difficult days,” Weinstein said.
The search was launched after Tzvi Stolzenberg went missing on the night of September 26 from his Kensington home. His mother immediately contacted police and Shomrim, which initiated a huge community-based search for the teen. A mobile command center was set up in Midwood. Shomrim members went out onto the streets to search for the missing teen.
Greenfield and Weinstein came to Shomrim headquarters to announce a reward for information leading to the teen’s safe return.
While at home getting ready to go to work, O’Hare, a transit sergeant, saw a television report of the Greenfield-Weinstein press conference and later noticed one of the posters volunteers had posted. A day later, while conducting sweeps of train cars at the Dekalb Avenue station, O’Hare noticed someone lying down on the seats. O’Hare checked a photo of Tzvi that he was carrying with him and immediately realized it was the missing teen