P.O. Reinaldo Salgado Playground
The former Patchen Playground was renamed for Police Officer Reinaldo Salgado (1956-1997) of the 81st Precinct in August 1997. Known affectionately in the neighborhood as "Rei," Officer Salgado died of leukemia at the age of 41 on April 14, 1997. In the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, Salgado is remembered for his active involvement with the children in the 81st Precinct Youth Programs.
The youngest of ten children, Salgado was born on January 6, 1956 in Manati, Puerto Rico. He was raised in the South Bronx and attended Cardinal Hayes High School and the State University of New York at Buffalo. In May 1977 Salgado graduated with a B.A. in Speech Communication, the first in his family to complete college. Like two of his brothers before him, Rei chose a career in the Police Department. He graduated from the Police Academy in January 1981.
Salgado was assigned to the 84th Precinct on Gold Street in Brooklyn in July 1988. He worked in several areas there, including Recruitment and Applicant Investigation. In April 1994 he moved to the 81st Precinct, located at the corner of Gates and Ralph Avenues, and became a youth officer. It was there that he touched the lives of over 600 Bedford-Stuyvesant children who participated every year in the 81st Precinct Youth Programs at Patchen Playground. He made it his mission to be a role model, guidance counselor, mentor, and friend to many children.
This playground, acquired by the Department of Parks on April 4, 1944, is bounded by Monroe and Madison Streets on the north and south, and by Ralph and Patchen Avenues on the east and west. Patchen Avenue was laid out in 1835. The playground is adjacent to Public School 309, which was built in 1962.