Community comes together for a night out with cops from the 50th Precinct

The 40th annual event included CO Filastine Srour receiving a proclamation


The 50th Precinct’s new commanding officer said she was proud to see the turnout of community members joining with officers to stand against crime last week in the annual National Night Out.

The event at Bailey Park on Tuesday, Aug. 1 was attended by local electeds, police, community members and filled with awards, popcorn, cotton candy, a bouncy castle, and live music from a DJ.

National Night Out is an annual event held nationwide on the first Tuesday of August, promoting community awareness and safety between police and their neighborhoods. It was the 40th time the event has been held. But for the 50th Precinct’s commanding officer Filastine Srour it was her first since getting to the precinct earlier this year.

“I think we’re very lucky in the 5-0 and Riverdale that the community and the cops have the same goals,” Srour told The Riverdale Press. “We don’t need to get on the same page. We work together anyway. This night represents all of us standing against crime… Everybody’s coming out and we’re saying ‘we don’t accept crime and we want to keep our community safe and we want to work with the police’ and the police want to work hard for you.”

Though nervous about the event initially, Srour was very proud of the turnout. She also had the pleasure to present awards to five officers who received cop of the month. These officers were recognized for making firearm, grand larceny, and multiple arrests in one month. Srour also presented the Civilian Commendation Award to Inspector Eduen Molina.

Deputy Commissioner of Strategic Initiatives Robert Bowers, on behalf of Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Eddie Caban, presented a proclamation to the 50th Precinct and Srour.

“New York City Police Department stands out as the largest and one of the oldest municipal police departments in the United States,” Bowers said. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the bravest women and men in blue who put their lives on the line every single day to protect eight and a half million New Yorkers and ensure our great city remains a secure and dynamic place to live, work, and visit.”

Under the leadership of Caban, they’ve combated disorder and gun violence, increased public safety and quality of life, and protect people within the five boroughs, the proclamation said.

Srour accepted the proclamation on the behalf of her officers.

“Here in the 50th Precinct we have very minimal amount of cops,” Srour said. “So we work pretty hard with the number of officers that (we) have and they are working tirelessly day and night to address crime and your community complaints.”

She said that since she’s been at the precinct, violent crime has decreased drastically due to officers working late hours, having their tours changed, and having to work overtime.

It wasn’t only praise for the police though. Local electeds were also given shout-outs by a DJ along with walk-on music before they each gave speeches to community members.

“This is my neighborhood, this is where I grew up most of my life,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz said. “This is where I grew up and this is where I’m proud to represent. And we have such a great community and we fight hard for it. Our elected officials work closely together and we plan to keep fighting to make sure our neighborhood gets better and better.

“So I’m so pleased that the 50th Precinct is doing such a tremendous job. Our captain, all the people from the 5-0. We really appreciate everything they do to keep our community safe.”

Councilman Eric Dinowitz said that he’s been working alongside the Assemblyman and Councilwoman Pierina Sanchez to try to get renovations completed at Bailey Park including the playground, “so that all the kids in our community, including my kids, can have a great place to stay in.”

The Councilman said they’ve also recently passed the New York City budget and they’ve made a lot of wins for the community in the Bronx.

“I am very happy to be here this evening on National Night Out,” state Sen. Gustavo Rivera said. “And let us remember why we are here. Safe communities are made when we have a good relationship amongst each other and with our police department.”

Rivera said the annual event provides an opportunity for community members to get to know the men and women who patrol the streets and the organizations and elected officials that serve them.

State Sen. Robert Jackson similarly shared a sentiment that the most important thing to him is that the community gets to know him and vice versa.

“I work with my colleagues Gustavo Rivera and other state senators in the Bronx,” Jackson said. “And then both the legislative branches, the senate and the assembly come together in unity in order to make love.”

Jackson explained how earlier in the day he was on a bike tour that stopped at 12 different locations in the 31st senatorial district he represents, with the last stop being St. Stephen’s Church in Marble Hill. Before he was a state senator in “boogie down” Bronx he was senator in 13 miles of Manhattan, 26th Street and Ninth Avenue all the way to Marble Hill, he said.

“Now one-third of my district is representing the people that live in this area and other parts of the Bronx,” Jackson said. “And I’m happy for that because I grew up part of my years and life in the Bronx on Franklin Avenue and then Montgomery Avenue before I moved to Manhattan after college. But I say this to you, I am getting into the groove.”

Outside of police awards and speeches, community members got the chance to go head to head to police officers on the basketball court. Oscar Sanchez, a sergeant in the explorers program, a program geared toward kids 14 to 20, explained why he played against several kids on the court.

“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life,” Sanchez said. “But I also like playing with everyone else because you learn from people. ‘Oh, you like basketball? Play me. One-on-one.’ You know you’re there for people and soon after that the game finishes and you probably make a new friend.”

In addition to games and food, there were also booths where people could learn from NYC CERT how to do CPR and what to do in an event of an emergency, learn how to obtain a permit from NYC buildings, and learn from Linc Literary Inc. about reading programs for young kids.

National Night Out, 50th Precinct, Filastine Srour, Gustavo Rivera, Eduen Molina, Robert Jackson, Eric Dinowitz, Jeffrey Dinowitz, Pierina Sanchez