NYPD hosts early Thanksgiving dinner in the Bronx

MORRISANIA, BRONX – Thanksgiving with all the trimmings, courtesy of the NYPD’s 42nd precinct.

Inside the station house at 830 Washington Ave. in the Bronx, eight families, about 30 people total, enjoyed maple glazed turkey, butternut squash bisque, seasoned rice, sweet potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce – all homemade. Brownies were for dessert.

The chef is Sgt. Elliot Zinstein, who’s been a training officer at the precinct for the past four years.

“This all came about through a collaborative effort of our police officers who wanted to give thanks to our community,” Zinstein said.

With six turkeys, he’s been cooking for three days, all in a kitchen above the precinct.

“The turkey, really the secret behind it is brining beforehand,” Zinstein said. “It’s a labor of love, this is our way of breaking bread with the community, it’s our way of showing the community we are one of them and they are one of us.”

The NYPD has put a focus on community policing and this is seen as another way to build trust. This is the second year the precinct has cooked a Thanksgiving meal.

“We feel that by opening our hearts and sharing a meal with our community members, we can have an honest conversation about what’s taking place and build on those relationships,” said Deputy Inspector Ernest Morales, commanding officer of the 42nd precinct.

Ashley Quintana and her two children, Ethan, 4, and Eileen, 8, tell PIX11 it was about so much more than just a good meal.

“We’re new to the neighborhood and I thought this would be a good opportunity to embrace our new neighborhood and find out about the good things we have here,” Quintana said.

While Zinstein cooked, other officers did the serving.

“We have the newest members of our command who are partaking and serving our community because we feel we’re a public service agency so were serving our community literally,” Morales said.

The cost of all the food, including the six turkeys, were paid for by the officers of the 42nd precinct. They plan on doing this every Thanksgiving for years to come.

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