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49th Precinct names ‘cops of the month’ at community council meeting

‘Finest’ Lee and Paterno named ‘cops of the month’

Bronx Times

He snagged a suspect who may have swiped a woman’s purse, and now he’s grabbed the honor of top cop.

Officer Tai Lee of the 49th Precinct received the “Cop of the Month” award from the precinct’s community council for his savvy handling of an April pocketbook robbery.

Nabbed a snagger

The officer responded to the purse grab on April 6 at around 9 pm on E. Gun Hill Road by quickly canvassing the area with the victim, before tracking down the suspect, according to a police report.

Officer Lee apprehended the perp, who was carrying marijuana and a knife.

Lee received high marks from his boss.

“It’s that bravery, really acting quickly not knowing whether this guy was armed or not, which is why he earned this honor,” said Four-Nine commanding officer Captain Tim McCormack at the council’s June meeting.

Steady vet honored

Lee was not the only NYPD officer to get some community love.

Officer Bill Paterno was also honored, as “Cop of the Month” for May.

The six-year force veteran made 12 arrests in that month, collaring alleged lawbreakers for a variety of offenses.

“It’s those noise complaints that you call up, and then they refuse to abide by the noise ordinances, or that guy that’s driving down Pelham Parkway recklessly with no registration and no insurance, he’s making those collars,” said Captain McCormack, as Paterno received his award.

McCormack said that Paterno earned the honor through his consistent efforts to combat crime, more so than through one specific moment of police work.

“His award is not for one act, or one thing that he did,” crowed the commanding officer. “It’s about his overall dedication to the community.”

The council will break until September, when its monthly meetings will start up again.

Reach Reporter Ben Kochman at (718) 742–3394. E-mail him at bkochman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @benkochman.

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