Breaking Bread ... with the 5-0


It was a hot day for hot dogs, but that didn’t stop hundreds of community members from feasting on the barbecue stylings of the 50th Precinct.

Like every year since 1984, the first Tuesday in August marked National Night Out, a nationwide community-building event between police officers and the people they have sworn to protect. Under the purview of top cop Capt. Emilio Melendez, the 5-0 set up shop on West 234th Street between Bailey Avenue and Broadway with a range of activities and good eats for the wider community.

For Melendez, a 30-year veteran of the New York Police Department, it was his first National Night Out in the 5-0 after replacing Deputy Inspector Terence O’Toole late last year. Melendez greeted children, families and local elected officials alike on a balmy late summer day as he and his officers served up burgers and other grilled fare.

Children darted from activity to activity — face painting, bouncing in an inflatable house, arts and crafts. Families waited with bated breath as raffle numbers were called out. Electeds joined the fray to meet constituents.

Above all else, it was a day for the community to get to know the police, and vice versa, as they noshed on tasty treats.