Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Saturday, 29 June 2013 00:00
When Port Washington Police Lieutenant and Commander of Patrol Brian Staley was sworn in as Deputy Chief of the Police District on June12, it was not only a testament to his qualifications, hard work and dedication to the department and the people of Port Washington; it was also an historic event as well. Staley is the first African American to be named to a chief’s position in the Port Washington Police Department, and only the third African American to be a chief in all of Nassau County.
A standing room only crowd comprised of fellow officers, family, friends and members of the community watched as Police Commissioner Dave Franklin administered the oath to Staley as he laid his hand on a bible held by his daughter, Lina Staley. The ceremony was held at the Fire Department Protection and Engine Company One.
Staley is a 31 year veteran of the department and, as Commander of Patrol, has been an integral part of the fiber of Port Washington. He enjoys a great level of respect and support throughout the community.
Locally, he has served as a community liaison and done extensive work with the Latin American and African American communities. He is currently the chairperson of the Community Action Council Advisory Board and the Director of Cow Bay Redevelopment fund.
He also serves as the Executive Vice Chairperson of the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County (EOC), and has held chairmanships and worked in the areas of gang prevention, aids awareness, voter education, head start and senior citizens.
In acknowledging Staley’s accomplishments, acting department Chief James Salerno said, “This is a great day for the district and even better for the community.”
In his remarks, Deputy Chief Staley said he was humbled by the honor and thanked the commissioners, Deputy Chief DeMeio and acting Chief Salerno “for their courage in taking this action.” He also thanked the community that helped to make this happen, including the family of police officers with whom he “spends more time than with his own family,” and he noted the many sacrifices made by his family that helped him arrive at this point in his career.
Returning to the larger picture, Staley said, “This achievement belongs not only to me, the department and the community, but to all African Americans. I am particularly happy that all the children are here today to see this.”
Iris A Johnson, CEO of the EOC, presented a plaque to Deputy Chief Staley commemorating his years of service to the agency and inscribed with a quote from President Barack Obama. “We are the change we have been waiting for.” There were few dry eyes in the house.