Santa Makes Early Appearance at St. Philip Neri

Santa Makes Early Appearance at St. Philip Neri
by David Greene

NYPD’s Auxiliary Inspector David Wong (left) joins Santa Clause and members of the Emergency Services Unit and a member of the NYPD’s Highway Patrol outside of the St. Philip Neri Church on the Grand Concourse.–Photo by David Greene

Family members and nearly 60 children living in the local community that are family members of members of the NYPD, were treated to an early Christmas party with Santa Clause and gifts at the St. Philip Neri Church on the Grand Concourse in Bedford Park. Held on Saturday, December 1, instead of elves, Santa was assisted and protected by members of the NYPD’s Aviation Unit, who briefly flew overhead along the Grand Concourse, the Emergency Services Unit (ESU), the NYPD’s Mounted Unit, officers from the 52nd Precinct, the K-9 Unit and the Highway Patrol. According to the NYPD, the annual event is held in precincts throughout the city, the one for the 52nd Precinct was held on Saturday, December 1, and has been a tradition of the department for at least the last 37 years. The church, which opened its doors to the NYPD as it does with most community-based organizations, also hosts the NYPD “Blue Mass” in the spring, organized by young students, where cops get a blessing during a special mass in their honor.

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