Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00
Members of the Long Island Shields police organization opened their recent meeting, held in Farmingdale, by speaking in honor of the fallen Nassau County Police Officer Michael Califano of Wantagh. Califano was tragically killed when a truck struck his patrol car while he served a summons on the Long Island Expressway on Friday, Feb. 4.
First Precinct Officer Danny Corry was Califano’s patrol partner. Corry was in attendance at the meeting and spoke about what an upstanding person Califano was.
“I quickly found that I could always depend on him, for both assistance with a call or a good laugh when morale was low,” said Corry. “When I became a new father I looked to his example as the gold standard of a family man; he liked his job, but he loved his family.”
Sadly, Corry shared with his peers the story of how he learned of Califano’s death. He was returning from a skiing trip with fellow officers when their bus was stopped in heavy traffic backed up on the Long Island Expressway on the night of the accident.
Corry said, “We all looked out the window and observed the devastating sight. What I didn’t know at the time, but would learn only several hours later, was that my squad mate and good friend was lying trapped in the horrific wreckage.”
All winners of the club’s raffles donated at least half of their winnings back into a collection taken at the meeting. More than $500 was donated to a memorial fund in honor of Califano.
In response to the outpouring of support for the family of Officer Califano, additional donations can be made to the Michael J. Califano Memorial Fund, c/o Nassau County P.B.A., 89 East Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, NY 11501.
Charitable acts are the standard with the members of the L.I. Shields organization, recently making a generous donation to St. Christopher Ottillie Family of Services in Sea Cliff of two carloads full of toys collected by the police members and their families.
Also at the meeting 13-year member of the Rockville Centre Police Department Everett Mojica was honored for his continued dedication to serving his community. While arriving at the scene of a fire call last year, Officer Mojica discovered a life-threatening situation and called for the fire department’s dispatch. Mojica assisted the fire chief in rescuing the trapped victim and other occupants at the location. Mojica’s family and Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Charles Gennario were in attendance as he accepted the Long Island Shields Cop of the Month award.
The meeting regularly hosts a topic speaker; the evening’s guest was Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Donald X. Clavin. Clavin praised fallen Officer Califano and spoke of the commitment and dedication of all officers before continuing onto his topic. Clavin shared information about reading the tax bills, applying for tax reassessment and other tax issues.
The Long Island Shields is a fraternal organization, started in 1969. It is composed of more than 1,500 active and retired members from Long Island’s police departments. It offers scholarships to the children of members and sponsors regular charitable events throughout the year, while offering camaraderie and support for officers and their families. For more information visit http://lishields.org/