By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A police leader and a retired sanitation supervisor received a big pat on the back from Community Board Six for their efforts to improve the quality of life in Park Slope and Red Hook.
Board Six Chairman Daniel Kummer presented "Core of the Apple" awards to Dep. Insp. Jeffrey Schiff, former commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, and James Proscia, the retired superintendent of the Department of Sanitation’s Brooklyn District Six.
The awards were presented at a recent Board Six meeting.
“It is also fitting that now, a year after Hurricane Sandy, we take time to recognize these two men for the extraordinary lengths they went to in keeping us safe and enabling us to immediately begin the rebuilding process, during what was truly a most vulnerable and heart-breaking time for our communities,” Kummel stated.
When Hurricane Sandy hit, Schiff was quick to deploy officers to sensitive locations around the community, including supply distribution points and then made sure that all of the gas stations in the precinct were covered while the city was rationing gasoline, Kummer said.
The New York Daily News reported in October that resilient residents of Red Hook are still struggling to recover from the massive flooding that took place during the Oct. 29, 2012 storm.
Schiff was also cited by the community board for “ushering in a new era of policing by being one of the first in the city to use social media tools as a way of engaging the community,” Kummer said.
Schiff also started a program called “Spot It To Secure It,” where his officers would use handheld electronic devices to take pictures of unsecured property, including items left unattended in cars, then showed the pictures to the owners as a way of raising awareness and educating the public in crime prevention.
Proscia won a “Core of the Apple” award for his approach to his job and his “can-do” attitude, according to Kummer. “Superintendent Proscia kept the streets of our district as close to pristine as humanly possible, paying close attention to the dead end streets around the Gowanus Canal and some of the more remote industrial streets in Red Hook,” Kummer said.
“His resourcefulness was put to the test in several instances where we had chronic complaints from residents about the condition of garbage put out for collection at PS 15 in Red Hook and PS 282 in Park Slope. Superintendent Proscia was extremely supportive and helped design a special enclosure that was constructed at the perimeter of PS 15 so that the school’s garbage could be secured. At PS 282, he worked with school staff to identify a storage location that prevented the need to put the garbage out letting it sit for hours at a time unattended until collection,” Kummer said.
When Superstorm Sandy hit, Proscia put extra equipment in Red Hook and made special collections throughout the Gowanus corridor.