Rochester, N.Y. – It was an emotional night of thanks and appreciation Thursday night in Rochester, as the Beechwood Neighborhood Coalition held its annual Police/Fire Recognition Dinner.
Members of the Rochester Police Department and a firefighter with the Rochester Fire Department were recognized for their work.
There was also a surprise at the event for the police department’s deputy chief.
Last summer, Kamalo Din was attending summer school when, one day, he said his bike was stolen.
He was about to get some help, however, from the Rochester Police Department.
“The officer arrived,” Kamalo recalled. “He came in. He said he was going to get me a new bike.”
“When I got the phone call, we said there has to be something we can do in the Rochester Police Department,” said Deputy Chief LaRon Singletary.
Singletary helped Kamalo get in contact with the folks at Conkey Cruisers – and, in turn, they helped set him up with a replacement bike.
Thursday, Kamalo had the chance to say, “thank you,” to Deputy Chief Singletary. Singletary was given a surprise honor at the dinner – something he never expected.
“It was a shock to me tonight to get an award,” he said. “I’m very humbled.”
Singletary adds events like the one hosted by Beechwood on Thursday are important for all those who serve.
“It’s a great night for the men and women of the Rochester Police Department and the Rochester Fire Department, to be recognized tonight by people of the community who really appreciate what we do,” he said. “With so much going on in the country today, I think it’s very important for men and women in service – like law enforcement, fire department - to really feel appreciation, and that’s what Beechwood did tonight.”
But the real reward?
“To put a smile on his face was the greatest thing,” recalled Singletary.
And Kamalo finally had his chance to thank the deputy chief for his help.
“I want to thank him for giving me a new bike,” Kamalo told 13WHAM. “I really appreciate it.”
And his message for people reading this story?
“If you get a bike, always lock it,” he said. “Safety!”