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1st Precinct Honors Officers Who Saved Lives in 2010

By Julie Shapiro | April 1, 2011 10:44am

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — On May 7 of last year, the 911 call came in: A woman was lying unconscious on the floor of a Spring Street apartment.

Police Officer Lawrence Sanzari, with the 1st Precinct, rushed to the scene and found that the woman had no pulse and was not breathing. She was cold to the touch.

Sanzari immediately started CPR, and soon the woman's heart began to beat and she started breathing faintly. A few minutes later, her pulse and breath stopped again, and Sanzari again revived her with CPR, keeping her alive until an ambulance arrived. She was transported to the hospital conscious and in stable condition.

Sanzari was just one of several dozen 1st Precinct police officers to receive a plaque and a standing ovation this week at a recognition ceremony in Battery Park City.

"It shows them that their work is not unappreciated," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who attended the reception afterward at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. "We are aware of it."

All of the downtown officers who received Cop of the Month awards in 2010 were called up to the museum's stage Wednesday night as local radio host Shelli Sonstein described the feats that had earned them the distinction.

On July 6, officers Daniel Brier, Richard Ford and Christopher Braine spent 20 minutes inside an 11th-floor apartment on Wall Street, talking down a suicidal man who was sitting on the window ledge. They were able to keep the man from jumping, and once other emergency responders arrived, they pulled him down.

Other officers were recognized for hunting down bank robbers, muggers and shooters, for seizing counterfeit merchandise and for uncovering credit card fraud. The 1st Precinct Community Council, which organized Wednesday's event, also honored the Scooter Task Force, which is based downtown but patrols all over Manhattan.

"The men and women being recognized tonight played an extremely vital role in crime reduction in the precinct," said Capt. Edward Winski, commanding officer of the 1st Precinct. "We have to show we appreciate the job that they do."