Copping list! Police may run errands for home-bound seniors

Copping list! Police may run errands for home-bound seniors
Community Newspaper Group / Laura Gottesdiener

Crooks beware: The milkman’s packing heat!

Cops from the 76th Precinct are willing to deliver sundries to homebound residents stuck in snowy isolation, officials quietly confirmed last week.

“If they are elderly or have an impairment, we’ll bring them milk, for example,” Officer Vincent Marrone, a community affairs cop, told the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association.

The initiative did not come from police headquarters in Lower Manhattan, but is an outgrowth of a citywide program where civic leaders better inform precincts about nascent quality-of-life problems.

Maria Pagano, president of the association and a member of the precinct’s civilian brain trust, came up with the idea — which we’ve dubbed “Operation Milkman” — after the borough was buried under two feet of snow.

“There are people who don’t have anyone to call, and would feel much more confident if they could call on a friendly policeman,” she said.

Pagano suggested that auxiliary cops — volunteers who wield only radios and plenty of chutzpah — could handle the bulk of the delivery duties.

The precinct’s commander, Capt. John Lewis, cautioned that the operation is not a new unfunded mandate.

“It’s great that we can do nice thing, but obviously, we’re not going to be able to accommodate everyone,” said Lewis, whose precinct includes Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook, and the Columbia Waterfront District.

If a sampling of seniors in the precinct is any indication, most seemed tickled pink with the prospect of the boys in blue ringing their bells — or maybe just clearing away some snow.

“We need help from police because look at this corner, we need to cross here!” said Joseph Gorini, 91, pointing at a river of slush at the intersection of Third and Smith streets.

Gorini’s 82-year-old brother is bedridden after a leg amputation.

“If I couldn’t do our shopping? My brother would be out of luck.”

The plan also won accolades from the able-bodied.

“You go on with your life and you forget about those who can’t get around. I hope the police start to deliver food,” said Joann Rivera.

But not everyone liked the idea of cops aping Fresh Direct workers.

“It’s a nice gesture, but the police should stick to law enforcement and safety and other organizations can do that—unless there’s a significant safety concern,” said Michele Bogart. “Food delivery is not the police’s job.”

The 76th Precinct [191 Union St. between Henry and Hicks streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 834- 3211].