The Jewish community wished farewell to a friend in blue this week, as NYPD Chief Charles Scholl, Executive Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, retired after 41 years on the force.
Chief Scholl received over 60 departmental recognitions during his years on the force, and maintained close ties with the Orthodox Jewish community, which has large populations in Brooklyn South.
On Wednesday, State Sen. Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein presented Scholl with proclamations from their respective chambers commemorating his service, in a ceremony at Felder’s office, joined by NYPD Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor and Lieutenant Ira Jablonsky, both Orthodox officers in the Community Affairs Bureau.
On Thursday, his final day in uniform, the NYPD held a celebration for Scholl at the 60th Precinct stationhouse in Brighton Beach.
As Scholl exited the building at 3 p.m. for the final time, officers lined the street, first saluting then applauding, as bagpipes played. Commissioner Dermot Shea hugged Scholl, before the retiring chief was driven away in a vintage police car.
Shea later tweeted that Scholl has “done more for the people of Brooklyn & NYC than we will ever know.”
In a telephone interview with Hamodia on Thursday afternoon, Scholl recalled his four decades on the force, and his relationship with the Orthodox community.
“I had a very heartwarming and self-satisfying career; 41 years went by fast,” the chief said.
Scholl, who grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Caroll Gardens, received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. Upon his graduation, he was the recipient of the Police Foundation Scholarship Award, awarded to the member of the NYPD with the highest GPA.
He began his career in 1979 as a patrolman in Bedford–Stuyvesant. One year later, he started working in Williamsburg, “and that’s when my friendship with the Orthodox community began – and those friendships have continued to this day,” Scholl said. “I learned a lot from leaders like Rabbi Edgar Gluck and Rabbi Berish Frelich, and also in my dealings with the Shomrim patrols – I have seen how they can help the NYPD.”
Scholl praised the large number of community organizations.
“To this day – Shomrim, Shmira, Hatzolah, Chaveirim, Misaskim, Chesed Shel Emes – I wish more people acknowledged their great work,” the chief said. “Many times through the years, they presented me with an award, but it should have been the other way around. I thank them and the Jewish community for all that they do, and their support and friendship throughout the years.”
Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor, the highest-ranked yarmulke-wearing NYPD officer, told Hamodia the retiring chief is “a mentor and a mentsch.”
“I’ve known Chief Scholl since I was a police explorer when I was 15 years old,” said Taylor, 38. “He’s always taken the time to help guide me to be a leader. Before I was assigned to Community Affairs, I was in Brooklyn South, and before every Jewish holiday, Chief Scholl would have a meeting with the commanders and personnel of the precincts covering the major Jewish communities in Brooklyn South. Chief Scholl would stress the importance of providing an increase in police presence, and he would explain the general laws of the holidays. Chief Scholl has always been there for every community.”
Felder tweeted that Scholl is “a shining example of what a NYC police officer is and always should be.”
“Thank you for a lifetime of exceptional service to our city!” wrote Felder. “Enjoy the great things that come next.”
Scholl, who will turn 63 on Friday, told Hamodia he is “contemplating several offers from the private sector,” but that he has a specific condition for which job he will accept: “It has to be something where I can continue to be involved with the community.”