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Calls For Safer Communities In Honor Of Fallen Officer

While a wake was being held on Long Island for murdered NYPD officer Peter Figoski, a memorial for the 22-year veteran was being held in the community he served.

Children at the Brownsville Recreational Center on the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association's Christmas list to receive toys and equipment took time to remember the hero cop, who loved kids.

"We should all do what Peter did when he went on a job he said to a young lady, there is nothing on the street for you, and that's so true," said PBA President Patrick Lynch.

"So if everyone would do what the PBA is doing to stop and speak to a child, and maybe hand them a toy in this hard economic time then you might be saving a child," he added.

At the same time in Cypress Hills where Figoski was killed, a gun buyback program, was in progress. Some of the weapons being collected were frightening.

"A young lady walks in with a bag like in a candy stores and says 'I have five guns you want more?,' according to State Sen. Malcolm Smith, who sponsored the gun buyback.

"We looked at an AK-47, a huge rifle I don't know how somebody carries a rifle like that on the street. Somebody came in with a Tech-9 the officer said that you can get $1,000 on the street for that."

The buyback program was at St. Peter's Lutheran Church -- no questions asked. People were being paid $200 for a handgun, $20 for a rifle.

"This is a very hard week for Cypress Hills," said Bishop David Benkem explaining, "the loss of an officer, the loss of tranquility and peace in a working-class neighborhood is a tough thing. So, this is sort of a fitting conclusion to this week, to say we're going to do the right thing to make it safer to walk the street."

While the two events were held in memory of the single father of four to make the communities he served and died in better and safer, calls for donations continue, to support the education of his four daughters -- left bereft and fatherless.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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