He’s New York’s finest disc jockey.
A police officer with Park Slope’s 78th Precinct will spin some tasty tunes at the neighborhood’s biggest annual food festival. Visitors to “A Taste of Fifth,” at Grand Prospect Hall on April 10, will sample dishes from more than 50 local eateries while Lieutenant Acu Rhodes, also known as DJ Ace, puts together a music mix to make them bust a move.
Rhodes, a 22-year veteran of the force, spends most of his evenings leading the platoon assigned to Barclays Center. But on his nights off, he scratches old-school records at local shindigs. As DJ Ace, he often wears an official police department t-shirt or jacket, making his sets into a kind of community outreach.
“People think police officers are robots and we’re not human,” Rhodes said. “But when they see I actually like music and I can do what I do, it humanizes the idea of being a police officer.”
The Bedford-Stuyvesant native has been a fan of mixing music his whole life, and picked up his nickname from a guy in his neighborhood. But he only went public with his talents about five years ago, he said, when others at the 78th precinct urged him to enter a “cops versus kids” disk jockey battle, and he has played regularly since then. This will be his third year spinning at the Taste of Fifth, where he mixes together tracks old and new, he said, playing whatever will get the crowd moving.
In addition to music from DJ Ace, the night will offer unlimited cocktails, beer, and wine, and samples from Fifth Avenue restaurants and shops, including new spots Pizza Secret, Lizzie Kings, and Amy Poehler-owned shop Zula Wines, serving alongside veteran establishments Bogota Latin Bistro, Nunu Chocolates, Bricolage, and many others.
Rhodes said that his work at Barclays, both as an officer and as an occasional record scratcher, is especially rewarding because it brings him in touch with people from across New York City.
“The Barclays Center brings the entire city together for different events, and I have an Instagram, @DJAce78, that is starting to gain a lot of followers,” he said. “So those followers have a chance to meet and talk to me when they come to the arena. Not only that, I get a chance to meet and talk to actual celebrities and celebrity DJs and they actually recognize me and know who I am.”
“A Taste of Fifth” at Grand Prospect Hall [263 Prospect Ave. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 551-5545, www.parks