YORKTOWN, N.Y. – With so much “tension” in the world, Lakeland High School senior Brendan Byrnes just wanted to give officers with the Yorktown Police Department a place to relax.
That's why, with the help of the community, he completely renovated an outdoor patio area at police headquarters, installing a new brick patio and picnic table, and donating a new gas grill.
In order to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, all Scouts must complete an Eagle Scout Service Project benefiting the community. Byrnes had several options to choose from, but with both parents being retired police officers, he naturally gravitated toward giving back to Yorktown's Finest.
“I thought it's a really tough job and it'd be nice to give them somewhere to just relax for a little bit,” Byrnes said.
To complete the project, Byrnes got a lot of help from Yorktown elected officials and business owners, who donated time and supplies. Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli, Deputy Supervisor Gregory Bernard, Sal Triano, and ASA Stone & Mason Supply donated various supplies. It was also Councilman Tom Diana who suggested the project, Byrnes said.
The bench, the umbrella, the grill and the propane were all bought with funds donated to help defray the costs.
Before 15 to 20 Boy Scouts dedicated three weekends to helping Byrnes complete the project, he needed to receive clearance from Dig Safely, New York, an organization that works to prevent damage to underground facilities.
“I was waiting on the emails back about the utilities,” Byrnes said. “I was just sweating every time I opened my email, hoping there was nothing there.”
In addition to learning about construction, Byrnes also learned important leadership skills by guiding the young Scouts through the project. Byrnes is also the senior patrol leader of Boy Scouts of America Troop 174.
Byrnes held an unveiling ceremony Monday, May 15, coinciding with the start of National Police Week. The officers thanked Byrnes for the gift.
“On behalf of all of the employees here at the Yorktown Police Department, we’d like to thank Brendan for his hard work and commend him on the fine job he did in constructing this patio,” said Police Chief Robert Noble. “Not only did he build the patio, but he was also able to donate a picnic table and barbecue grill to go along with it. The fruits of his dedication and leadership will allow our employees to enjoy the combination of meals and fresh air for many years to come. Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Byrnes for supporting Brendan, and I hope that they will all join us in the near future when we fire up the grill.”