NYPD distributes COVID tests to Middle Eastern community in Brooklyn

Local News

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, N.Y. – While giving out free meals to thousands of Brooklyn families, a Middle Eastern NYPD captain realized the area he grew up in was in need of something else.

The 18-year veteran with the police department grew up in Downtown Brooklyn and arranged for 200 COVID-19 tests to be administered at the Arab-American Family Support Center on Atlantic Avenue on Thursday.

“Being from the neighborhood, it makes me feel good,” Marachilian said. “Cops love to give back. Being born and raised in Downtown Brooklyn, it’s an incredible feeling for me to be able to give back to my community.”

It’s become a full circle moment for him, but this isn’t the first time he’s provided.

When the holidays were coming up, he started giving out hundreds of free meals in East New York to make sure families were fed during the pandemic. Listening to them, he heard additional concerns and sprung into action.

A need for COVID tests became evident and he made it happen.

“Our mission’s obviously our crime-fighting but also serving the community,” Marachilian said.

Marachilian speaks fluent Arabic and is the president of the NYPD’s Middle East and Turkic Society where there’s a large population in the neighborhood.

“My mom’s Palestinian,” Marachilian said. “She was born and raised in the West Bank. My dad was born in Egypt to an Armenian father and his mother was from Lebanon. If you could see, I have two officers with me— one of them is from Yemen. The other one’s from Lebanon.”

Having a wide range of officers from the region makes the community it represents comfortable with police.

“It helps them seeing that familiar face that speaks the same language, enjoys the same food as they do,” Marachilian added.

Marachilian is working to get more tests to the community and more free meals to families in East New York.

He will be handing out trays to 200 families at the Christian Cultural Center located at 12020 Flatlands Ave in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Thursday, Jan. 14 from 9 AM to 1 PM on both days.

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