By Catherine Tsounis
“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” -President Ronald Reagan1
The NYPD’s auxiliary police program is the largest auxiliary police program in the United States, with thousands of volunteer officers contributing more than one million hours of public service each year. Auxiliary officers are trained to observe and report conditions requiring the services of the regular police. Whenever possible, they assist in non-enforcement and non-hazardous duties.2 They are UNARMED, UNPAID. Remarkable persons in New York City.
On the evening of March 1st, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD auxiliary police retired. Sgt. Chris Boudourakis was honored for his unselfish 20 years of service at the 111th Precinct Community Council meeting. Executive officer Captain Kim awarded Auxiliary officers Sgt. Chris Boudourakis, Jackson King, and others. Representatives of politicians attended, that included: Mrs. Irene Cheung of assemblyman Edward C Braunstein’s office, prominent businessmen, community leaders, members of the NYPD and auxiliary program attended. 111th Precinct Community Council President, Jack Fried, Vice President Larry Sheehan, and their Board of Directors organized the awards ceremony. For more information, contact Community Affairs officer Luigi Galano at 718 279-5276.
“I did 20 years of service at the 111th precinct,” said Sgt. Boudourakis. “I am retiring and having an active role as a Papou (grandfather). I am spending time with my grandchildren I heard of the auxiliary police program in 2002. I joined them and glad to serve the community for 20 years. I made friends will officers and supervisors. I will miss working with you all. I thank Lieutenant Kyle Ferguson, 111th Precinct Auxiliary Program Coordinator, who is a gentleman, for his help. Community Affairs officer Luigi Galano’s assistance is appreciated. I thank all the officers who worked with me as part of the team keeping the community safe.”
Auxiliary Lieutenant Stephen Hatzistefanidis “He will be sorely missed. Sgt. Boudourakis volunteered on weekends. He is a man who shows devotion and dedication. Chris always enjoyed working at parades. I got to know him personally. We always patrolled St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Flushing for Greek Easter. Chris volunteered to patrol St. Nicholas Church’s festivals. He wanted to help his church and all churches on weekends.”
Who is auxiliary police Sgt. Chris Boudourakis? Mr. Boudourakis is a civic-minded person who volunteers in police service areas. In plain words, he works without pay, wanting to give back to the United States for the honor of living in the greatest country that ever existed. Former 111th Precinct Captain John Hall said “Chris is always there to help us. We are honored to have him with us.” His spouse Maria, who works opposite St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Northern Blvd at Steve’s Barber Shop, and his family are supportive of his volunteer work.
“I come from a village near Alexandroupolis, the capital of the Evros regional unit in East Macedonia and Thrace,” he explained. “Our village is called Asimenio in the municipality of Didymoteicho on the northern part of the Evros regional unit. Asimenio was a large village in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Few persons are left. The villages are left to die. The government does not pay attention. Asimenio is across from the Asia Minor border of Turkey.” Dimitri Filippidis, Greek American international journalist, on his daily Hellas FM program, has made this image alive to his American listeners.
“In 1922, Asimenio was one of three places designed by a Russian civil engineer,” said Sgt. Boudourakis. “My grandparents were refugees from Asia Minor. The Evros river separated their village of Zaloufi. They were forced to leave their homes in the population exchange of 1923 across the Evros River into Eastern Thrace that belonged to Greece. My grandfather said on a clear day, he would look across the Evros River and see his home in Turkey. He could pinpoint it. My children have visited Asimenio and seen it.” It is one hundred years since the population exchange. It is an everlasting pain of lost homeland that is transmitted from generation to generation.
“Turkey was given a small sector on the west bank opposite the city of Edirne. At Edirne, the river flows through Turkish territory on both banks, then turns towards the south and forms the border between Greece on the west bank and Turkey on the east bank to the Aegean Sea.”3
“The population exchange of Greece and Turkish populations known as the Treaty of Lausanne, involved 1.6 million Greek Orthodox from Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, the Pontus and Caucasus and 365,000 Muslims from Greece, most of whom were forcibly made refugees and denaturalized from their homelands based on religion…Each group were citizens and mostly native peoples, of the state seeking to expel them and neither had representation in the state purporting to speak for them in the exchange treaty.4
This is Chris Boudourakis’ roots. His family’s pain of a lost homeland explains his patriotism. Who works for free today? The NYPD has thousands of volunteers such as Chris Boudourakis. What makes Mr. Boudourakis unique is his intense enthusiasm to preserve the community, a society like his grandparents in Eastern Thrace, the gateway to Asia Minor. All of us were honored to see this exemplary American citizen recognized for his contribution to the NYPD and community. To join contact 111th Precinct Auxiliary Program Coordinator Lieutenant Kyle Ferguson, at 718-279-5218.
4.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population exchange between Greece gnd Turkey