President’s Message, May 2007

As I start writing this message the calendar tells me it’s spring, but the sound of my still running oil burner says ‘no’. Welcome to Spring 2007.

Unfortunately as we know 2007 marks the 35th anniversary of one of the darkest days in NYPD history, the murder of Ptl. Phil Cardillo, at the Harlem Mosque, 102 West 116th Street in 1972. As we promised then, we will continue to give out the Ptl. Phil Cardillo scholarship to a members child this and every June until his murderers are made to pay for their crimes.

Special Thanks to our Treasurer Rich Rottkamp, for pinch hitting at the last minute for our scheduled guest speaker at the last meeting. Rich provided us with a great deal of financial information.

Don’t forget that we will once again be participating in the U.S. grave site flag placement at L.I. National Cemetery, (Wellwood Ave.) Section 2A on Saturday May 27th, beginning as usual at 0630 hrs. On a sad note the last known surviving WW 1 Navy veteran recently died at 105 years of age in the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home. His death came days after the death of the last known surviving American WW 1 female veteran at 109 years of age. Their deaths leave only 3 known American survivors who served in the Army.

From Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2 we will once again provide security at the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged at Mitchel Field. (letter on page 13) These are two of the finest events you can participate in, and you’ll feel better for it.

Hope we see you at our next meeting on June 28th. Wear your vest, and keep in your prayers the men and women who are defending us at home and overseas.

Fraternally,
Richie

Police Officers of the Month, April/May 2007

On a Sunday morning this past October at approximately 0415 hours a 1999 ford Windstar with five passengers tragically lost control and careened up a steep embankment, hitting a tree before crashing into a concrete wall that forms part of an overpass.

The vehicle had been traveling on the Staten Island Expressway with three children in the back seats and their parents upfront. Officers Albano and Mullane were monitoring traffic in their police cruiser on the shoulder of the expressway about a mile from the scene, when the driver of a van pulled over and alerted them to the crash.

The officers quickly responded to the accident location and when they arrived a vehicle predominately engulfed in flames confronted them.

The officers immediately requested the assistance of ESU, EMS and FDNY for a potential ‘pin job’. they surveyed the damage and determined that they were going to need additional tools to extricate anyone from the vehicle.

Officer Albano reached into his patrol vehicle’s truck for a Halligan rescue tool, along with a sledgehammer and a fire extinguisher. Both officers then went about breaking glass, with officer Albano using his elbow to gingerly push out a window. In the back seats of the vehicle the officers noticed two children strapped into car seats and one other child seat belted in.

The children in the car seats were 2 and 3 years old while the older girl was nine years old. The kids were hysterically crying and screaming as the flames from the front of the vehicle worked their way towards the rear seats.

Officers Mullane and Albano maintained their focus and determination and pulled the children from the burning vehicle to safety. The officers were unable to prevent the fiery crash from claiming the lives of the children’s parents. Officer Albano said, “it’s very heart-wrenching that these children lost their parents”.

The officers assisted with the transport of the children to the hospital and Officer Albano was treated for a minor injury to his elbow. The fire department brought the vehicle fire under control and the children’s parents were pronounced dead at the scene.

In a statement police commissioner Ray Kelly commended Officers Albano and Mullane: “The Police Officers performed superbly and lives were saved as a result.” Police Officers Albano and Mullane performed as a team, each one playing a significant role that resulted in the saving of three young lives. each overcame many obstacles that included thick smoke, intense heat, flames and mangled wreckage. They did this without the luxury of time to plan or special tools.

The Shield’s of Long Island are proud to name New York Police Department Police Officers Robert Albano and Kevin Mullane as our Police Officers of The Month.