Longtime community volunteer and 104th Precinct Community Council president, Len Santoro, led his final meeting at Maranatha Baptist Church in Ridgewood last week.
Santoro, who has lived in Queens for most of his life, served as the council’s president since 2015, and will move to Arizona next week with his wife, Barbara, who will retire.
What seemed to be a routine public meeting quickly turned into a time of expressed gratitude for Santoro from police officers, representatives of local elected officials, and fellow council members.
“Len represents everything the NYPD stands for in a community partnership,” Council Vice President Jon Kablack said. “He took over the council, which at the time of his takeover, had no funding and little participation, but he built it to where we can operate now and help support the command.”
Kablack will finish Santoro’s term as the council’s president until June, when their election will take place.
At the meeting, Deputy Inspector Louron Hall, the 104’s commanding officer, echoed Kablack’s sentiment, and said that Santoro will “always be a part of the NYPD family.”
During his time as president, Santoro spearheaded various community engagement activities, including National Night Out, Halloween trick or treating for neighborhood children, Cop of the Year fundraiser, and command appreciation day.
He also has experience working with other civic organizations, such as Juniper Park Civic Association and American Cancer Society.
To honor his commitment to the community, representatives from Congresswoman Grace Meng, Councilman Robert Holden, District Attorney Melinda Katz, NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, and Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar presented Santoro with proclamations and citations.
Additionally, the council gifted him an authentic, personalized DOT street sign that says “Len Santoro Boulevard.”
Santoro thanked everyone for their acknowledgements, and assured the group that the council is in good hands.
“John has a great leadership style and a lot of respect among the officers,” he said.
“Any good leader will tell you that they’re good because they have a strong support system. And I’ve always felt supported here by the NYPD, our partners, commanding officers, other board members, and people in the community.”