49th Precinct Clergy Council Dinner

By Robert Press

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill was the featured keynote speaker at the recent 49th Precinct Clergy Council Dinner at Maestro’s on Bronxdale Avenue in the Bronx. And along with Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, O’Neill received the Clergy Council’s Public Servant Awards.

In his remarks, Commissioner O’Neill reminisced about his early days with the Transit Police force in 1983. By 1995, he earned promotion to the rank of lieutenant at around the time the Transit Police merged with the NYPD.

A young Captain O’Neill would become the epxecutive officer of the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx. He recalled his first command was the Central Park Precinct followed by a stint at the 25th Precinct in Manhattan, before winding up in the Bronx again as the commanding officer of the 44th Precinct.

From there, O’Neill was promoted to Deputy Inspector, and then full Inspector. He later moved into command posts in other areas of police work, such as vice, narcotics and fugitive enforcement. He was appointed Chief of Detectives in 2014 by then-Commissioner Bill Bratton, who was his commanding officer at Transit. And as life would have it, O’Neill wound up being promoted to commissioner when his mentor retired in 2016.

Clergy Council awards were given to former 49th Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Thomas Alps, who now heads the 52nd Precinct, and to Community Affairs Officer Dave Lepore of the 49th Precinct.

Community Service awards were bestowed upon Sister Jeanne Hanley of the Miracle Revival Temple Church and Mohammad Ahmad Jan, a local businessman and an organizer of the Pakistan Independence Day Parade in Manhattan.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, and Bronx DA Darcel Clark. Credit: Robert Press

A surprise guest at the 49th Precinct Clergy Council Dinner was New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Also on hand were Councilman Mark Gjonaj and Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez. Over two-hundred people attended the Clergy Council event at Maestros Caterers.

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