Playing their right hand: Police gift handcrafted domino tables to Brownsville senior center for Black History Month

A police officer and members of a Brooklyn senior center play dominoes on new boards donated by the Police Department.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

In honor of Black History Month, members of Brooklyn’s NYPD Police Service Area (PSA) 2 — which serves 42 public housing developments within the confines of the 73rd, 75th and 77th Precincts – had three handcrafted, custom designed domino tables for the Rosetta Gaston Senior Center in Brownsville on Feb. 15.

Brownsville has often been portrayed as having a turbulent relationship with the NYPD because of a litany of gun violence incidents plaguing the neighborhood. However, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn North, Chief Scott Henderson, told seniors that cops want to be known for more merely patrolling streets for gunmen; they are also working to help uplift the community by giving back through various community events.

“We are going to be a model for police and community relations throughout the city and throughout the country because we can do it,” Henderson said.

Police Officers Vincenzo Rallo and Mark Kalwa pulled together funds to work with “Handcrafted by ECP,” and unveiled the new boards to the senior center.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Police Officers Vincenzo Rallo and Mark Kalwa pulled together funds to work with “Handcrafted by ECP,” an East Meadow-based carpenter, to create three custom designed domino tables to replace the deteriorating ones the Woodson seniors once used.

“These officers pulled together their resources to fund the building of the tables. Outstanding job,” PSA 2 Commanding Officer Captain Sean D. Claxton wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Erik Parkman, founder of Handcrafted by ECP, never made domino boards before, but after receiving images from the NCOs on what the seniors wanted the carpenter got to work and created three Black History inspired wood surfaces over the course of two weeks.

“I was asked to create a domino board, which I never knew existed. They sent me a picture of what the guys were playing with and an official domino board,” Parkman said. “I was able to cut the wood down, put everything together and then epoxy cover the whole thing so that it’s got a smooth surface and it’s durable.”

Brooklyn seniors and officers square off on the new table.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

In addition to the unveiling, seniors enjoyed food and drinks with NYPD members in an attempt to build a stronger relationship with officers and the community.

“Showing everybody in a uniform that you can do what you love and love doing it for an extended period of time,” Officer Rallo said.

This story first appeared on amNewYork Metro, a Schneps Media sister site.