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A Tribute To Harry T. Pinchback

Rep. Edolphus Towns

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Mr. Speaker, I rise in honor of Harry T. Pinchback for his long-time public service and commitment to the Brooklyn community.

A descendant of P.B.S. Pinchback, the first African American to become a state governor, Harry T. Pinchback was born and raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. In his late teens, he moved to the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. He and his wife Peggy have been married for 45 years, and they have a daughter Angela and a grandson named Paris.

``Pinch,'' as he is universally known throughout Brooklyn, graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School in Brooklyn and would later attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice for two years.

Before entering public service, Pinch first pursued a career as a professional singer and then as a professional baseball player, where he played left field for the St. Louis Cardinal minor league organization. Back in Brooklyn, Pinch joined the New York City Police Department (NYPD) in 1967. He was the first supervisor of the summer youth program for the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, which took children on recreational and educational field trips. He was also the first supervisor of the cadet program for the 75th Precinct, which was a training program for those who wanted to enter the police force. Pinch was also the first coordinator of the school crossing guard program for the 75th Precinct.

Additionally, he risked his life on the force in several dangerous situations, working on the narcotics unit in Brooklyn and on undercover assignments throughout New York City.

Pinch was also the first African-American selected to the NYPD softball team and one of the first African-Americans selected to the NYPD football team.

After retiring from the NYPD in 1988, he returned to public service, working as a Special Assistant for Congressman Ed Towns, where he still continues to serve.

Mr. Speaker, Harry T. Pinchback has had a long and distinguished career serving the people of Brooklyn, first as a police officer and then in the Office of Congressman Ed Towns. As such, he is more than worthy of receiving our recognition. I hope that all of my colleagues will join me in honoring this truly remarkable individual.