President’s Message, June 2009

Words cannot properly express the admiration and pride I have for the men and women who gave their time and energies to assist us at the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged, and the grave dressing at Long Island National Cemetery. I am quite grateful for the positive response to both of these exemplary events.

Rich Rottkamp and I recently had the honor to represent The Shields at the New York State Fraternal Order of Police Memorial and the Nassau County Police Memorial. Both were dignified and humbling experiences.

Be sure to circle Friday, August 7th on your calendar, it’s the date of the fun event of the year. Rich Rottkamp and his committee will once again host The Shields Annual Moonlight Sail. Your attendance will afford you a great evening of friendship, and also help support your organization. Your loyal support along with help from our friends is one of the main reasons that we are able to offer scholarship presentation nights such as our next meeting on Tusday, June 23.

Sunday and Monday, September 27 & 28 are the dates that John Colundro has reserved for our 2009 golf outing start forming your foursomes now. Details for this event to be announced, John and members of his committee will be available to answer questions at our Tuesday, June 23 meeting.

Congratulations to Shields Vice President Neil DeLargy, recently promoted to Inspector Nassau County Police Department.

Get well wishes go out to Shields members Ed Barry and Al Farina, both are recovering from heart related conditions.

Please note that our next meeting will be on a Tuesday, due to a previous booking at our caterers. Joe Wolff has put together an interesting program for your enjoyment, and if conditions work out we will be honored with an appearance by a “very special” person from the police profession.

Thanks for your continuous support, have a safe and fun filled summer. See you in September.

Fraternally,
Richie

Police Officers of the Month, June 2009

On the 13 of Feb at 1230 am, a Garden City resident got up from his sleep to use the bathroom. Upon returning to his bedroom he was confronted with the horror of an unknown male holding a machete ordering him to say nothing. The male grabbed the victim by the shirt and physically brought him downstairs through the kitchen into another room where he encountered another unknown male seated on his couch. The 2 males now led the victim back to his room where they demanded cash and his cell phone. They then used a ripped up shirt and wires from his computer to gag and bind the victim. As the victim laid helpless, the males went through the house stealing various electronic items including a computer and a TV. The victim was untied by his brother, who was also asleep in another room, and had been awoken as the intruders were leaving.

Early on Feb 14th a similar incident was reported one block away in which a would be victim was awakened by his house alarm. He went to his kitchen and observed an unknown male, carrying a machete, attempting to enter through his window. The unknown male fled the house. The would be victim immediately notified the Garden City Police Dept and a thorough search of the area was conducted with negative results.

All leads that were being exhausted, by many different persons looking into the cases, were thought to lead to dead ends. The case was considered cold by some. However, Det Rothermel and Det Madden were not going to give up so easy. The detectives took a large part of the investigation up on their own time, due to budget cuts preventing overtime faced by all police departments in these trying economic times. After sorting through the case files, which included witness statements and DNA evidence, the detectives applied for a warrant to track the stolen cell phone. Two days after obtaining the warrant there was a hit on call data and location in real time. With the assistance of the NCPD Electronics Unit the phone was able to be placed in the Hempstead area, but unable to be pinpointed. After scouring the area numerous times, but to no avail, the detectives reached out to the NYPD TARU Squad to see if they could be of assistance. The third time combing the area with TARU they pinpointed the location of the phone and arrested a subject on Greenwich St for possession of stolen property. Through the interview process the detectives were able to build probable cause to charge the subject with the home invasions. Their case was strengthened further by a positive hit on DNA evidence and a positive line-up. The case is still being investigated and other arrests will hopefully be made in the near future as a result of the investigation.

This is truly a case of how when departments work together, positive results can be achieved through cooperation. There are not many things more terrifying than encountering a stranger in your own home. There is no way to tell how many other first degree burglaries and how many possible injuries were prevented through their determination, hard work and effort. Sometimes nothing is better than just plain old hard work. As a result of their good, old fashioned detective work, the Long Island Shields is proud to present their police officer of the month award to Detective Robert Rothermel and Det Kevin Madden of the Garden City Police Dept.

Police Officer of the Month, June 2009

The Long Island Shields are proud to give Police Officer of the Month Awards to Police Officer Hector Bourren and Police Officer Collen LaMontagne. They demonstrated bravery in the face of danger, and their quick-thinking and professionalism protected both property and life in a Garden City Park home.

The two police officers walked into a situation that can accurately be called explosive. It was January this year, and Officer LaMontagne was called to a burglary-in-progress. She arrived at the scene and spotted the subject. Officer LaMontagne attempted to make contact, but the subject walked away from her into the rear of the house, out of sight.

Officer LaMontange next located and spoke with the 911-caller. The caller had a son. and this son’s ex-girlfriend was on a rampage. She had already used a pair of scissors to carve up the complainant’s car. She also shattered a glass door to break into the caller’s house. Now she was trying to set the house on fire, and she was pouring lighter fluid onto a blaze.

Officer Hector Bourren arrived, and along with Officer LaMontagne entered the rear basement through the shattered glass door. The officers observed a plastic container of barbecue lighter fluid at the bottom of the steps. The officers searched the basement. They completed the search and continued to the upstairs and the first floor. They immediately smelled smoke and continued to search for the subject. The officers located the subject in a first floor bedroom. They observed her pouring lighter fluid on the fire and ordered the subject to raise her hands and face them. Instead the subject reached into her pocket and pulled out a pair of scissors continuing to ignoring the officer’s order. The subject became distracted by the fire and the large amount of smoke filling the room.

Officers Bourren and LaMontagne tackled her, a fight ensued, and Officer LaMontage was injured. The police officers nonetheless disarmed and handcuffed the subject. They led her away from the premises. They also called the fire department.

As they waited for the fire department, the Officers battled the flames. The fire department arrived and extinguished the fire. The Arson/Bomb squad also arrived, and conducted a thorough investigation.

In the end, the subject was charged with burglary in the first degree, arson in the first degree, and several other major felonies. Tonight we thank Officer LaMontage and Officer Bourren, and the many other officers involved in this incident, for their courage and dedication. It is the honor and privilege of the Long Island Shields to present P.O. Hector Bourren and P.O. Coleen LaMontage with the Police Officer of the Month for April, 2009.