Meet Mike Mannino, and the VIP in this photo, his son Robbie. Mike came over to me and said, "Chief, I am the mystery cop, the one in the photo by the Wonder Wheel." In the early 2000s in Brooklyn South we came up with a postcard, a collage of photos of iconic locations in Brooklyn. We handed them out at community events and sent them to friends and community members during the holidays. We had a poster size on display with other photos in the general area in our Brooklyn South Headquarters.
There was one photo of a police officer standing by the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island. I asked a number of people to try to find out who the cop was so I could give him some copies. It took some time but after a couple of months, I wound up speaking with Mike and I was able to send him a bunch of the postcards.
Meeting Mike again recently I learned the background of how we wound up connecting back then. Mike would frequently hear from other cops that they liked the photo of him that they saw in Brooklyn South. Of course he did not believe them but when he went on a mail run to drop something off at the borough he saw his photo on the wall. He told the cops working there that he was the guy by the Wonder Wheel. They said to him, the Chief is looking for you. Here's his number; call him. Mike told them there was no way he would call me because of my rank and they said to him, "No, he likes this kind of stuff, call him." And they were right! I loved chatting with him then and I loved chatting with him all these years later with his son. Thank you for your service Mike. Stay safe and enjoy your well-deserved retirement.
March 19, 2021