Friday, 22 January 2010 00:00
Time magazine chooses its “Person of The Year,” and allow me to personally choose the “Local Organization of the Year,” namely the Port Washington Police Department.
It never ceases to amaze me as to how the Port Police help to form the very fiber and muscle of our community. This is an extremely versatile organization. They render so many valuable services, so many, in fact, that the general public may not be aware of them. During the late 1980s and through most of the 1990s, I was an election inspector at the St. Peter of Alcantara Church. Who monitors the elections, from start to finish? Why, the Port Police. Early in the morning on Election Day, we would pick up our voting materials, ballots, et al, at Police Headquarters on Port Washington Boulevard. After the polls closed, the police would pick up the materials and keep them safe overnight. Then on the next morning we would pick up all the stuff and drive them over to election headquarters in Mineola. No way there’s going to be any hanky panky with this type of security.
Just look at the Police Report column published almost weekly in the Port News. The police must investigate any type of crime, major and minor – everything from DWI, domestic violence, burglary, traffic accidents, assault, drug possession, criminal destruction of property, et al. These efforts are all very time consuming. As one desk sergeant recently told us: “We get busier and busier all the time.
We’re all human and we all get sick from time to time. A local citizen may fall suddenly ill at a restaurant, store, or other public place. The emergency number 911 is called and who are the first responders? Why, the Port Police who often get to the scene and administer CPR before the EMS can arrive.
Allow me to stretch back in time for a few years. Back in the mid-1990s, I was doing my weekly shopping at King Kullen. Just as I got into my car with a load of stuff, the rain began pouring down like a monsoon. It was just 2 1/2 miles to my house on top of Orchard Farm Road. I just could not pull over and by the time I got over to Beacon Hill Road, I could not tell where the road ended and the sidewalk began. I just could not spot the sign for Orchard Farm Road because the rain was blinding. I wobbled along Beacon Hill Road for a few hundred yards, and what do I see? Why, a Port Police Officer. He stopped me and asked, “What’s the trouble?” He must have thought I was loaded - not the case, though. I said, “Officer, can you lead me up to 58 Orchard?” He answered, “Why certainly, sir.” A belated “Thank You” to a cruising officer who was not afraid to help a citizen who was in a real jam in a driving rainstorm.
By the time I had been driving for nearly 40 years, and over 500,000 miles, without an accident mind you. I had driven through the Rocky Mountains, through heavy snow, but nothing was as bad as that monsoon night in Port.
Then, during a case where my entire life’s savings were embezzled, the Port Police really came to bat for me. From the time we filed charges, ‘til the sentencing was handed down at the Nassau County Criminal Court, 32 months elapsed. Two Port Police officers were involved in that case for the full 32 months: Detective Dominico Morrocu and Paul Gros. This duo did everything from studying bank records to recovering stolen property. Thanks guys!
And a personal word to Port Police Chief William Kilfoil, who’s headed the organization for some 20 years; “Chief Kilfoil, you have top officers working for you and the community-at-large.
A Happy New Year to all!
P.S. When you’ve been wronged and can prove it, having the police behind you is like having the wind at your back … but if you’re a miscreant who continually breaks the law and the police have your number, better watch out!