President’s Message, December 2008

The elections are now over and the people of our country have made their voices heard. Now it’s time for us to join together in support of our new President, and his administration, that’s what makes this country great.

Don’t forget Sunday, December 7th is the day that Mike Villa and his committee will once again be hosting the Shields highly successful and entertaining Children’s Christmas Party. (See pg 3)

The North Pole informs us that Santa will definitely be in the area that day.

On behalf of the newly elected 2009/10 Board of Officers, I want to thank you for having the confidence in us to lead your organization.

At the last general meeting the membership was asked what activities they would like to see us sponsor. Their suggestions will be taken under advisement at the next board meeting.

Please remember to bring an unwrapped toy for a child less fortunate to the December 4 meeting so that we may distribute them to a charitable organization for children.

I hope that you and your family have a very healthy and safe holiday season please remember in your prayers the men and women who won’t be able to celebrate at home this year.

Fraternally,
Richie

Police Officers of the Month, December 2008

On October 12th, 2008 Police Officer Timothy Tonkin was working a 3 X 11 tour when at approximately 2055 hrs. he received a call to respond to a vehicle in the water near the boat ramp in Billy Joel Park in Cold Spring Harbor . Upon his arrival there was off duty Nassau County AEMT Scott Kitograd in a dingy near the submerged vehicle and Mrs. Kitograd advised Officer Tonkin there was a person inside the vehicle. The vehicle was headfirst in the water with approximately 3 inches of the roof and rear window above the water. Officer Tonkin removed his baton from his gun belt and put it in his pocket and secured his gun in his police vehicle. Officer Tonkin then ran into the water and swam out approximately 60 feet to the vehicle.

Meanwhile already at the vehicle was AEMT Scott Kitograd, who was in a dingy, he had commandeered, that was tied at the shore line on the boat ramp. EMT Kitograd had arrived minutes earlier with his family to do some fishing. It was he and his wife who discovered the vehicle in the water. They called the police and Scott grabbed the dingy and paddled out to the vehicle to render assistance.

Upon arrival at the vehicle Officer Tonkin was unable to stand due to the waters depth, so in an attempt to gain leverage to strike the rear passenger side window he grabbed the roof rack and began to strike the fixed window with his baton. Officer Tonkin was able to break the window at which time the vehicle began to fill with water and sink further completely submerging the vehicle. Officer Tonkin had to go underwater and reach into the vehicle to reach the victim who had been pushed back into the rushing water. Officer Tonkin then pulled the semi-conscious victim from the vehicle and the victim’s weight pushed Officer Tonkin under water. Officer Tonkin was attempting to push off of the bottom, but was unable due to the waters depth. While swimming to the surface Officer Tonkin hit his face against the side of the vehicle breaking his tooth. Officer Tonkin resurfaced to find EMT Kitograd holding the victims arm from the dingy. Officer Tonkin and EMT Kitograd attempted to put the victim into the dingy, but were unable to because of his weight and state of consciousness. Both of them were able to get the victims head and shoulders into the dingy and began to swim and paddle to the shore where other officers assisted in removing the victim from the water.

The victim and Police Officer Tonkin were transported to Huntington Hospital via ambulance. The victim was admitted with non-life threatening injuries and Officer Tonkin was treated for lacerations and a chipped tooth and released.

By making swift decisions and taking rapid actions in the face of adversity Police Officer Tonkin and AEMT Kitograd went beyond their expected duties to save the life of a man in distress. Because of their actions it is the honor and privilege of the Long Island Shields to present Police Officer Tim Tonkin and AEMT Scott Kitograd with the Shields Police Officer of the Month for December 2008.