NYPD Win’s Second Year in a Row

Posted: May 9, 2016 in NYPD R.F.C. in the News

Riverdale Press article: NYPD vs FDNY Charity Match

Game raises funds for fallen officer’s family

Posted May 13, 2016

The NYPD and the FDNY met up at Gaelic Park on Saturday for their annual rugby match to raise money for officers killed in wars overseas.

Proceeds from this year’s game went to the family of Det. Joseph Lemm, a 15-year veteran of the NYPD, who was killed during his third tour in Afghanistan on Dec. 11. Det. Lemm worked in the warrant division, one floor above the 50th Precinct.

Two other fallen first responders, Firefighter Chris Engledrum and Officer James McNaughton, were also honored at the event.

“They do it every year, they’ve been playing years and just adding names to it,” said Deputy Inspector Terence O’Toole, the commanding officer of the 50th Precinct. “Unfortunately, we keep adding names to it.”

Families of all three servicemen were present at the event.

On the field, the NYPD dominated the majority of the game, scoring 5 points by halftime and three times in the second half to propel the team of officers and volunteers to a 20-14 victory over the FDNY.

One of the highlights of the game came late in the second half when Charles Brown, a volunteer for the NYPD, scored the game-clinching try on a break-away run from almost mid-field.

“I think for the first half, we were pretty fundamental. We kept it slow and steady,” he said. “Then the game plan towards the end was to try to close it out, get big runs, don’t do too much go to ground and just eat up yards.”

This is the second defeat in a row that the FDNY has suffered at the hands of the police, after beating the NYPD by 40 points in 2014.

“Most of these guys play in the tri-state area [rugby] league and we just come together a couple of times a year to play each other,” Firefighter Keith Rogozinski, the captain of the FDNY’s team said after the game. “It’s been the Engledrum and McNaughton game for a couple of years, but Det. Lemm died this past year, so we decided to give the money to his family, and that’s basically what we’re here for. We can get together in the park and play anytime, but this is an event.”

Many former and current police officers and firefighters assembled to watch the game, including retired police Officer Sam Perez, and his son Chancellor, who had commuted from Philadelphia for the day. The pair was with former Officers Manny Alayon, Freddy Velez and Ben Beron, whose son was playing for the NYPD

Saturday’s game was also played as part of police memorial week, when events are held nationwide to celebrate police officers who have died in the line of duty.

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