At an event on Thursday evening, MARP and the 88th Precinct of the NYPD were presented with the MetLife Foundation Community- Police Partnership Award. MARP and the 88th Precinct were honored for their accomplishments in creating a safe environment and spurring economic development and job creation on Myrtle Avenue in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill during their collaboration over the last 10 years.
The Award, sponsored by MetLife Foundation and administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), recognizes partnerships between community development groups and police departments that have reduced crime and spurred housing development, economic activity and improved community services in low and moderate-income communities. April Hawkins, director of civic affairs of MetLife Foundation, presented the awards to MARP and the 88th Precinct, who were selected from more than 650 applicants nationwide. Michael Blaise Backer accepted the award on behalf of MARP and Captain Anthony Tasso was there to receive the award on behalf of the 88th Precinct. The award also came with $25,000 in funding to support MARP's work. Upon accepting the award, Michael Blaise Backer committed to putting $5,000 of the award to the 88th Precinct's summer youth programs.
The event was held at the brand new Myrtle Avenue Caribbean restaurant Sans Souci, located at 330 Myrtle Avenue between Washington Park and Carlton. Elected officials Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Councilwoman Letitia James were there to join in the celebration, as well representatives from MetLife, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), Community Board 2, MARP staff and board members, and other community members.
Pictured, left to right: Julia Ryan (LISC), Michael Blaise Backer (MARP), Basil Jones (Sans Souci), Lillie Jones (Sans Souci), April Hawkins (MetLife), Captain Anthony Tasso (88th Precinct)