Rockaway’s Boys In Blue Warm A Local Senior’s Heart


On this past frigid New Year’s Day, an Arverne senior citizen woke up to an unpleasant surprise. However, in an unexpected twist, what initially started off as a tragedy, transformed into a blessing that warmed her heart and changed her perspective of our officers in blue.

Olivia Crum could not open the front door of her home as it was frozen shut, and encased with colossal blocks of ice, preventing her from opening the door. “I was shocked and terrified,” Crum said. “My family and I were basically trapped inside with no way of getting out. I was worried about my grandson who has asthma. What if he got an attack? What if I got sick? There was no way for us to get out.”

Crum said she called both 311 and 911, and shortly after police officers, Michael Frasca and Joseph Joy from 100th Precinct came to see what the problem was. “When they first arrived, I could see they were shocked to see how the ice had formed on the door. It looked like giant, perfectly shaped ice cubes stacked on the outside.

“For over an hour and a half, these two officers picked and chiseled at the ice until they finally were able to pry the door open,” Crum said.

Officer Frasca said, “I couldn’t believe the amount of ice that formed. I was thinking about how frightened Ms. Crum looked. However, she was very patient. She handed us a blow dryer through the window, and watched us as we worked. While chiseling on the ice on the door, I joked with her, ‘You are going to be stuck indoors until April!’ That got her laughing.”

Crum said she has been an activist all her life. She participated in the March on Washington in 1963 and the Selma to Montgomery Alabama March in 1965. For 27 years, she presided over all the unions at Elmhurst Hospital.

“In the last year, with all the news surrounding the Eric Garner case and Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, these young white police officers determinedly working to rescue my family and I, really gave me another perspective.

“It’s not just black lives matter, all lives matter! They didn’t report to my home for a crime. They came just to help an elderly black lady open her front door. However, that day, they didn’t just open my front door, but my eyes to the realities of the world. There are always two sides to a story. God teaches us not to judge. I now have a different view of our boys in blue. These white officers were so humble when they came to our aid. I was on the brink of tears, but they made me laugh. That New Year’s Day was so cold, and I knew they were freezing, but they never complained and just smiled while working on my door,” Crum said.

Two days later on January 3, Crum said the officers came to check on her. “I couldn’t believe it. They came back just to see if all was well. I decided I wanted to thank them with a delivery of food to the Precinct,” she said.

Officer Joy said, “It was just really nice to be able to help her. Her smile of joy when we finally pried open the door, warmed us up immediately.”

“God blessed me that day. These officers not only opened my door, but my heart,” Crum said.

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