The 69th Precinct Clergy Council has a lot to be thankful for over the past year. They celebrated the year’s accomplishments, while looking forward to a safer New Year and stronger bonds with the NYPD and the community, at the Council’s End of Year Report & Closing, held at Prayer Pact International Family of Christ, located at 1068 East 94th Street.
Clergy Council President Reverend Cecil Moonsam welcomed everyone in attendance, and Council member Gale Forde opened the event in prayer. Before covering business, the group got into the holiday spirit by singing classic Christmas carols like “Joy to the World,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Rev. Moonsam thanked members of the 69th Precinct for keeping Canarsie safe, at a time when the NYPD has lost a lot of its members and the remaining officers are working double duty. He recognized our commanding and executive officers, the auxiliary and community affairs units, including special guest Deputy Inspector McCall, as well as members of the Clergy Council.
In turn, Commanding Officer Captain Khandakar Abdullah thanked Rev. Moonsam and the Clergy Council for everything they do all year long and the support that they give to the community and the 69th Precinct. That includes showing up at roll calls to pray for the safety of his officers.
He praised the events held throughout 2022, including the monthly prayer vigils, a Youth and Gun Violence Outreach on May 28th and an Active Shooter drill on May 23rd held at the precinct. Abdullah said the event had a good turnout, with lots of clergy members present, and incorporated department members and experts on how to safeguard religious establishments in the event of an active shooter entering a house of worship.
“These events show solidarity between clergy and the precinct,” Captain Abdullah said. “We are standing together and they [the council] are with us through difficult times, and we thank you and acknowledge you for that.”
He said that although overall crime is up year to date by 20%, a citywide pattern, Canarsie is seeing decreases in shootings. “Although one incident is one too many, cops and clergy intend on further engaging the youth of our community to drive down shootings even further next year,” the captain said. Over the recent 28-day period, the precinct has seen decreases in murder, rape and grand larceny.
With the addition of a new Neighborhood Safety Team in March, a CRT team that patrols from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and a focus on our youth, crime is expected to decrease next year. The precinct now has 24 youths enrolled in the NYPD Explorer program, up from nine previously, and Captain Abdullah said the program gives “youth an outlet, a place to vent, a place to build relationships with officers.”
The Clergy Council presented an award to Captain Abdullah for his “committed and dedicated service to our community.” An award of appreciation was also presented to Gardy Brazela, president of the 69th Precinct Community Council, for his service to the community and his partnership with the Clergy Council.
Next, Rev. Moonsam honored all of the members of the Clergy Council with awards for their faithfulness and dedication during 2022. Food and fellowship followed the presentations.
The Clergy Council acts as a liaison between cops, community and congregations, promoting peace and safety in Canarsie. They handle crisis situations and hold bereavement services for families who have lost their loved ones to gun violence.