NYPD in full force for Spuyten Duyvil man's birthday


The 50th Precinct and New York Police Department Community Affairs turned out in full force for a Spuyten Duyvil man celebrating his 22nd birthday last Friday.

Police blocked off a street on Johnson Ave outside the home of David Berk, a man with a rare genetic condition and a love for the NYPD.

Sgt. John McFarland, communications strategist to the police commissioner, told The Press how police learned of Beck, whose condition causes declines in his mental and physical functionality.

“His story came to us and we heard he had an absolute love for the NYPD and was really excited every time he saw a cop — whether in uniform or a police car — and had to stop and say hello,” McFarland said. “So, we heard his birthday was coming up and at first the thought was just to bring him some NYPD gear and make his day.”

That initial thought turned into a much more larger and organized event, which included police cruisers, a dog, a horse, a helicopter flying overhead and the “Digidog,” an NYPD robot.

“One of the perks of being part of the greatest police department is we have all the greatest resources,” McFarland said. “And to be able to share those on a special day like today is really fulfilling.”

Joshua Mcintyre, one of Berk’s caregivers, explained how his case manager helped get everything into place. Berk recently got accepted to a high-school program on the east side of the Bronx, Mcintyre said.

One of his favorite parts of his birthday was seeing the police dog.

“It was awesome with the helicopters, everything,” Mcintyre said. “This is a cool show that the NYPD cares about the community.”

—Eric Harvey

New York Police Department Spuyten Duyvil NYPD community support Rare genetic condition Birthday celebration Community outreach David Berk Johnson Ave Sgt. John McFarland Digidog Police dog Helicopter Community care NYPD event Community affairs