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Police Commissioner Files For Retirement

End of an era as Ernie J. Cipullo retires after five-plus decades of service

On May 31, Commissioner Ernie J. Cipullo filed his retirement papers with the Village of Garden City. According to those who know Cipullo, the quiet way he did this without fanfare is consistent with the way he’s conducted himself throughout his long, illustrious career. (This modesty also extended to his politely declining to be interviewed for this article.) With most anecdotal evidence pointing to most law enforcement officers retiring after between 20 to 25 years on the job, the U.S. Navy veteran was on the clock for an astonishing 51 years after reporting for his first day of duty on April 20, 1961.

Over time, Cipullo worked his way up from patrolman to his career pinnacle of Garden City Police Commissioner, a position he’s been serving in since July 2, 1981. A recipient of 27 departmental citations as a police officer, these were just some of the accolades this grandfather of four earned that also included being a charter member of the police fraternal organization Nassau County Shields and private lobbyists, the Metropolitan Police Conference. The village’s acting police commissioner is Inspector Kenneth Jackson, who Cipullo hired back in 1985 and served as a mentor to right up through the present-day. Jackson, who speaks with his law enforcement guru on a daily basis, said the secret to Cipullo’s success in being a dedicated professional who loves his profession was rooted in fundamental mantras.

“The best piece of advice he gave me was to treat everybody the way you like to be treated,” he explained. “And the one example he always led with was to always give it your all. As an employee of the community, it’s always up to [police officers] to do anything you can do to help and protect it.”

During a village board of trustees meeting on June 7, the announcement was made of Cipullo’s retirement. Unsurprisingly, the man of the hour was in absentia, leaving his accomplishments to speak for themselves. After Inspector Jackson gave a brief acknowledgement to his friend moving on, Mayor Donald Brudie gave a lengthy recap of Cipullo’s personal and professional accomplishments. The owner of a B.A. from Adelphi University and an M.P.A. from the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, he is also an adjunct professor in the criminal justice departments of Post and Nassau Community College. Married to his wife Rose, he is the father of a daughter who is an attorney and a son who is a detective in the Nassau County Police Department. Cipullo is also the doting grandfather of granddaughters Samantha, Skylar and Trinity Rose and grandson Aidan. Professionally, the Nassau County Municipal Police Chiefs Association, an organization he’s served as president of for the past 26 years, is passing some kind of resolution to allow him to retain this position into retirement.

In closing, Mayor Brudie summed up Cipullo by saying, “he watched over this village as if it was his family and he gave freely of his talent to generations of residents who have made Garden City their home,” he read. “In addition to giving himself to our village in public service, he also gave to his country as a U.S. Navy veteran. Ernie J. Cipullo, we will miss you.” It’s a sentiment more than a few Garden City residents can relate to given all that Commissioner Cipullo left behind as his legacy.