Volume 74, Number 25 | Octuber 20 - 26 , 2004



Villager photos by Jennifer Bodrow

Deputy Inspector Theresa Shortell, the new Sixth Precinct commanding officer, left, and former Deputy Inspector Kevin Fitzgerald

Community thanks Sixth’s Fitzgerald for a job well done

By Lincoln Anderson

After three years at the helm of Greenwich Village’s Sixth Police Precinct, Deputy Inspector Kevin Fitzgerald retired from the force last month at the ripe age of 41. He’s now armed with a Blackberry for his new job as assistant director of security for the Rudin Corporation, which owns 38 buildings in New York City.

A small group of 30 block association members and anti-crime activists gave Fitzgerald a sendoff at the new Café del Mar at Bleecker and MacDougal Sts.

David Gruber, president of the Carmine St. Block Association, said some commanding officers are tough, roll-up-your-sleeves sorts, others are good administrators skilled at deploying their officers, while still others excel at community relations.

“We got lucky in the Sixth Precinct, because we got all that rolled into one guy,” Gruber said, praising Fitzgerald for “three years of really great service to Greenwich Village.” Gruber presented Fitzgerald with a plaque from the Greenwich Village Block Associations.

Councilmember Alan Gerson gave Fitzgerald a proclamation for his efforts signed by himself and Councilmember Christine Quinn.

“This reflects a job more than well done — a job more than appreciated by the community,” Gerson said. Listing the many awards for heroism in the line of duty Fitzgerald won, Gerson added, “for attending community meetings — for that alone you deserve a merit.”

Assemblymember Deborah Glick also attended the party.

David Poster of the civilian Christopher St. Patrol said Fitzgerald “epitomizes the saying ‘One person can make a difference.’ Kevin truly had an understanding of our problems and did something about it. Kevin’s door was always open for us, and we knew that he was really listening.”

Fitzgerald modestly said the success he had is thanks to his supporting cast.

“I had a phenomenal staff and team — all my people,” he said. “They’re the people I would just implement. They’re the ones that should get the applause because they get it done every single day.”

He called leaving the Village precinct “the toughest decision of my life. This is such a special place in so many ways. The love you have for the Police Department is just terrific. I would have loved to have made inspector and stayed here five more years.”

In the end, he said, he did what’s best for his family.

His replacement is Deputy Inspector Theresa Shortell, a 20 1/2-year department veteran, most recently commander of the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which she said in some ways resembles her new post.

“It’s going to be a miniature Greenwich Village,” she predicted.

Gerson told Shortell the community cares about quality of life issues like noise.

“Inspector Shortell, you’re inheriting a great command,” Gerson said, “with a constituency that feels passionately about their community and their precinct.”

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