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Kids, cops connect in Marine Park at annual Night Out Against Crime • Brooklyn Paper

Kids, cops connect in Marine Park at annual Night Out Against Crime

Police escort: Officer Val Kontorovich took a break from fighting crime to give cutey Amanda Desantis, 1, a lift 63rd Precinct’s annual Night Out in Marine Park on Aug. 6.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Marine Park’s kids got to spend some personal time with New York’s Finest during this year’s annual Night Out Against Crime event at the neighborhood’s eponymous park, which was well-stocked with bouncy castles and inflatible slides, although there was a decided shortage of New York’s tastiest — pizza.

“There were 2,000 slices for 4,000 people,” said Gabriella Disantis. “But we still had a great time.”

Night Out Against Crime is a national event, which was introduced in 1984 to promote fellowship and understanding between officers of the law and the American citizens they’re charged to protect and serve.

Officer Carla McGirt of the 63rd Precinct was off duty on Tuesday, so she brought her 9-year-old son Adrian to meet some of her distinguished colleagues.

McGirt, who said she never brings her work tools home with her, said her son got a kick out of seeing a cop’s utility belt, courtesy of fellow officer Tiffany Ortiz.

“I don’t bring my equipment home with me, so they got to see all the things we wear on out belts,” said McGirt. “She showed him the pepper spray and explained to him how to use it. He really enjoyed himself.”

Hello officer: Nine-year-old Adrian McGirt came all the way from Bed Stuy to get some crime fighting tips from one of the 63rd Precinct’s finest, officer Tiffany Ortiz, at the annual Night Out Against Crime in Marine Park.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Adrian and other kids also got some useful tips from officers of the 63rd Precinct, local firefighters, and paramedics at the event, including what to do in case of a fire, and to never call wolf — or 911 — unless there’s a real emergency.

The event makes a real difference in helping New York’s Finest in the duties, according to McGirt.

“They definitely make our job easier,” she said.

The event also helps kids keep on the right track, too, such as little Amanda Disantis, 1, who’s sure to keep out of trouble thanks to some advice she got from Officer Val Kontorovich, her mother said.

“They told her to be a good girl,” said Disantis. “It was very age-appropriate advice.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

Lookin’ sharp: Paramedics with the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps showed up at Marine Park for Tuesday’s Night Out Against Crime to share some techniques and see if their helmets would fit on little Alisa Yu.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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