When Officer Kelly Habekost became a police officer three and a half years ago, she hoped to carry on the legacy of her late cousin Officer Robert Fazio. Officer Habekost described her cousin as the kind of cop who loved walking the beat and cherished the relationships he made while on patrol. Officer Fazio was one of the many heroes who died in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. Officer Habekost now wears her late cousin’s shield number, and with it, a deep desire to connect with the community she serves.
As a member of the 125th Street Task Force, Officer Habekost has been given the opportunity to work with the homeless community in Harlem and make a difference in the way she had always envisioned. To further their ability to help the mentally disabled homeless in Harlem, all members of the Task Force participated in Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Officer Habekost believes CIT has been invaluable in helping her connect the mentally disabled with the services, shelter, and counseling they need. Earlier this month, Officer Habekost recovered an illegal firearm in a trashcan thanks to a tip from a homeless person.
“Even though he felt there was a risk for him to speak with me, he came back and made sure I had followed up on the tip,” recalled Officer Habekost.
Because of the reputation Officer Habekost has established on the street, the man trusted her and shared the responsibility of keeping New York City safe.