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Robbery gang is no match for 88th Pct. cops

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The doubling of efforts to catch a small gang of robbers earned two patrol officers in the 88th Precinct “Cop of the Month” honors.

Police officers Orlando Vargas, a three-year veteran, and Cheona Wright, a two-year veteran, received certificates last week at the 88th Precinct Community Council meeting held at the French Speaking Baptist Church on Vanderbilt Avenue and Willoughby Street.

Dep. Inspector Philip Sferrazza, the commanding officer of the precinct, said the incident unfolded March 17 when Vargas and Wright responded to a robbery call.

Upon coming to the scene, the two crime-fighting partners interviewed the 16-year-old victim, who told them that five individuals confronted and robbed him of his property.

Sferrazza said that after taking down the victim’s statements, Wright and Vargas went back to the stationhouse to fill out the paperwork when over the radio they heard a description of the people responsible for this crime at a different location.

Instead of just staying and finishing their report and letting someone else respond, they got up and went back out, and lo and behold, spotted the people responsible, nabbing four out of the five, said Sferrazza.

“It showed their police work and caring. Most [police officers] turn off the radio when they do the paperwork. That was probably the difference in getting the individuals or not getting them, so I think it was very smart and good police work,” he said.

Vargas, a native of the Dominican Republic, came to New York City at 17, and said he wanted to join the NYPD almost as soon as he arrived.

Wright, of Queens, said she joined the NYPD because she wanted to make a difference and help people.

“When you actually help somebody, it really makes you feel good,” said Wright.

“This [award] means a lot. I love the community and so I try to do my best,” she added.

By Stephen Witt

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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