Blue ribbons lining the streets from Riverside to Jamesport, honoring fallen New York City Police Detective Brian Simonsen, shimmered bright in the Saturday morning sun as the Greater Jamesport Civic Association presented a scholarship to 17-year-old Riverhead High School senior Jordyn Stromski.
Jordyn received the $1,100 Det. Brian Simonsen Memorial Scholarship for her efforts to honor Det. Simonsen, a 42-year-old Calverton resident who was killed in the line of duty in February while responding to a reported armed robbery in Queens.
The 102 Precinct detective was mourned that month by thousands — including Jordyn’s father, Mark Stromski, a Riverhead Police Department officer for 29 years.
Her father’s sadness motivated Jordyn to give back to the community. Before the detective’s memorial service, she placed American flags and blue ribbons along County Road 105 and on Route 25 near the Jamesport cemetery where he was laid to rest.
“It really hit home to see how upset he was, and to know [Det. Simonsen] was a brother in blue,” Jordyn said after Saturday’s ceremony. “I have a strong relationship with the police department because of my father, so I wanted to do something and give back like they always have.”
Civic association president William Van Helmond said the organization was eager to award the scholarship to Jordyn.
“She’s a phenomenal person, a very giving person,” he said. “She’s a living example of a young individual who is doing more than most.”
He said Det. Simonsen’s death was a “tragic loss,” and watching Jordyn’s positive actions after the tragedy was important to the civil association.
“To have the entire Stromski family and all the Simonsen family here, it’s a testament to how this community loves him and the family, and that’s what [the community is] trying to keep alive,” Mr. Van Helmond said.
In the fall, Jordyn will attend St. John’s University, where she said she’ll study homeland security.
Mr. Stromski said watching his daughter receive a scholarship in honor of his close friend was “very humbling.”
“It makes me feel that family is very important and the little things that you do carry on and make bigger waves that you don’t even realize,” he said. “Having my daughter and teaching her the values of life, and her taking those values and doing this all by herself — without anyone telling her — it makes me feel proud that I did a good job.”
Photo caption: Riverhead High School senior Jordyn Stromski receives the Detective Brian Simonsen Memorial Scholarship from Jamesport Civic Association president William Van Helmond Saturday. (Credit: Kate Nalepinski)