Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Thursday, March 7 honored Brooklyn’s latest “Heroes of the Month” at a ceremony in the Rotunda of Brooklyn Borough Hall.
Adams honored New York City Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant William Hart, who saved a teenage boy who was about to jump off the Brooklyn side of the Manhattan Bridge, and a group of local businesses and service-based organizations that provided free services to federal workers during the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year.
“This diverse group of public servants, faith leaders, and small businesses share a common commitment,” Adams said. “Our latest ‘Heroes of the Month’ help those with nowhere else to turn, bringing hope and opportunity to those in need. They are the human embodiments of a safety net that catches our neighbors when they stumble or fall.”
Sergeant Hart, who joined the NYPD in August of 1998, was declared January’s “Hero of the Month.”
Adams said he volunteered for the Emergency Service Unit (ESU), where he served in Truck 8 in Brooklyn and Truck 3 in the Bronx. S
Hart was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2016, and has since served in the Office of the Police Commissioner, working on quality of life issues.
Additionally, he served 21 years in the US Army and New York National Guard, serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
At about 5:10 p., on Tuesday, Jan. 15, Hart was walking from Brooklyn along the Manhattan Bridge, conducting a quality of life inspection, when he encountered a distraught young man who had already climbed over the fence and was sitting on the ledge, ready to jump.
Sergeant Hart immediately took action, climbing the fence and bringing the teenager to the safety of the pedestrian path, Adams said.
“I want to thank Sergeant Hart for saving this young man, and I pray that he is in a healthier place today,” Adams said.
“Sergeant Hart’s career of sacrifice is a reflection of the heroism he showed on the Manhattan Bridge during that cold January day, and our borough is in gratitude for his continued service,” he added.
For the month of February, Adams presented “Heroes of the Month” awards to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens; the kosher soup kitchen network Masbia, which has locations in Borough Park, Flatbush, and Forest Hills; Massage Outpost, a clinical massage therapy studio with locations in DUMBO, Greenpoint and Williamsburg; and Sweet Chick, a popular chicken and waffles destination co-owned by Nas that has locations in Prospect Heights and Williamsburg.
Adams said each of these entities provided free assistance to some of the tens of thousands of federal workers who live in the New York City metropolitan area during the government shutdown, which began in the holiday season and stretched into the new year.
Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens organized a special food pantry with thousands of dollars’ worth of food for affected government employees, Adams said.
He said Masbia gave out fliers to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LaGuardia airports, “letting them know they could eat for free and pick up groceries at their pantries.”
Additionally, Massage Outpost offered free one-hour massages, and Sweet Chick “cooked up free meals for government workers who were out of a paycheck,” Adams said.
“The federal shutdown had a deep impact on so many Brooklynites, from residents of NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) to food stamp recipients, and it disrupted everything from air travel to tax collection,” Adams said.
“Thankfully, a number of groups stepped in with acts of kindness, both big and small, that really helped to fill the gap and restore workers’ dignity,” he added.