On Thursday, June 15th, the 69th Precinct Clergy Council hosted its annual Police Officers Prayer Awards and Dinner at Liberty Hall Cathedral of Praise, 1387 East 96th Street. Scores of officers attended the affair and several were recognized for their dedicated service.
The ceremony opened with the blowing of the shofar by famed Apostle Leeds Jean. Clergy Council Board member Reverend Gesner Segesse then said an opening prayer, followed by Clergy Council President Reverend Cecil Moonsam who offered a blessing before welcoming everyone. Moonsam recapped the group’s accomplishments year to date — monthly prayer vigils, Youth, Parents, Cops and Clergy Initiative and recent Ceasefire event. He also gave a rundown of their plans for the second half of 2023.
The reverend praised the officers, particularly the awardees, each of whom received a plaque which stated, “In Grateful Appreciation of Your Sincere Commitment And Dedication To Keeping Our Citizens And Community Safe.” Lieutenant Justin Simms accepted on behalf of Deputy Inspector Khandakar Abdullah who was deployed to another precinct in May.
Moonsam also extended “special thanks” to 69th Precinct Community Council President Gardy Brazela, stating, “I know good is being done for our community.” Other Clergy Council members offered special prayers. Chaplain Faith Williams prayed for the safety of the officers, calling many by name. Chaplain Laurine Joseph-Lofaso prayed for all elected officials and their governance, citing Proverbs 29:2.
State Senator Roxanne Persaud also commended the officers for their diligent service. “In whatever capacity you’re serving the people of Canarsie, I thank you,” she told them. Persaud went on to recognize the civilian workers at the 69th Precinct, insisting that those present stand and take a bow. She implored all to “continue supporting the officers and everyone in the 69th Precinct, and our community will continue to grow.” Moonsam agreed, adding, “I’m calling on all our clergy to put away our differences. It’s not about church or religion. It’s about working together in unity to make our community better and safer for everyone.”
Deputy Chief Charles McEvoy thanked the Clergy Council “for doing this for the hardworking men and women of the 69th Precinct [who] serve this wonderful community of Canarsie.”
The 69th Precinct’s Executive Officer, Captain Mobeen Yasin, expressed gratitude for the Clergy Council’s support, especially their steadfast prayers at roll calls and prayer vigils. He noted “they have been instrumental to the uplifting of the community and its officers.” The freshly minted Executive Officer commended the auxiliary and civilian personnel who augment the force. He also reported that in the six weeks since assuming the position, “Overall, crime is down 14%. Six firearms were removed off the street in four weeks. Auto theft is down. Vehicular collision down 37% — the lowest in Brooklyn South,” he was more than a little proud to announce. Yasin vowed, “As long as I’m here, I promise, I will work tirelessly to build a better tomorrow for our future, community and the 69th Precinct.”
The event, which featured great cuisine, saxophone playing, praise dances and solo gospel renditions, wrapped up with a closing prayer by Clergy Board member Pastor Mullery Jean-Pierre.