Chaplain’s Corner, May 2012

The Mighty Warrior … Makes the Servants Strong!

I remember an article in the January 18th issue (2000) of the New York Times. It asked: “Was Goliath, After All, Just a Pushover?” … and answered: “An Israeli neurologist came up with a medical explanation of how David could slay Goliath in the Biblical account. The neurologist, Vladimir Berginer, surmised that Goliath suffered from a hormonal disease that put him at a disadvantage against David and his slingshot. Goliath, who the Bible indicates was about 10 feet tall, suffered from a pituitary gland disease called acromegaly, the doctor concluded. “This is the only disease where sufferers can grow to such a height,” and he said, AIt was a miracle that such a small and young shepherd could defeat Goliath in battle.@

I am surprised how much can be said in so little space. The quoted doctor has made quite a statement: AIt was a miracle that such a small and young shepherd could defeat Goliath in battle.@ Absolutely, I’d react: We’ve definitely got a miracle working here!

The diagnosis of acromegaly, however, while interesting, is hardly convincing, given the scriptural context of the David-and-Goliath story. Throughout the I, the first five books of the Bible, God is portrayed time and time again as the only great warrior there is. The historical books as well as the prophets continue the affirmation that God is a super-fighter. The Almighty is the conqueror of Pharaoh=s hosts in all ten plagues and ultimately at the Red Sea, the victor over the twisting serpent, Leviathan, the power behind Gideon=s mini-force (that scared the bejeebers out of the Midianites, causing Israel=s enemy to stab at any moving thing in the dark of confusion – whereby they killed their own soldiers)…. and on and on! If the Almighty trooper afflicted the giant with acromegaly, that was some weapon. But it was God=s almighty power and sovereignty that won the day, not some lucky, spunky shepherd boy out there all on his own against a half-blind Apushover@!

This is precisely the image that sweeps us up in so many biblical faith narratives! God=s holy power is unmatchable. Even the mighty Sea could not resist the Israelites’ march to freedom in the Promised Land (highlighted in the Passover tradition). (And, in the Christian tradition,) Even the stone-sealed, soldiers-guarded tomb is unable to contain the conqueror of death. The Lord of Truth and Love, Peace and Order, Good and Trust is not bound by hate or abusive power, but risen indeed! In images such as these we find ourselves emboldened to care for the needs of others… the widow, the orphan, the abused, the neglected, the downtrodden, the unjustly imprisoned.

Can we understand it? No. But proclaim it we will – with all our strength – even if we can offer no sophisticated, scientific, rational, (or any other kind of) explanation. In the faith God has given to us, his self-giving people, we might borrow the doctor=s confident exultation, we’ve found an explanation for it @ – in God’s power – our faith-authorized affirmation for all time. Happy Season of Rejoicing!… May it spill over into the lives of all the people we serve!

Chaplain J.G.Anderson

President’s Message, May 2012

I would like to start this message by personally congratulating our Vice President Neil Delargy on his recent promotion to Assistant Chief with the Nassau County Police Department. Congratulations Neil!

I am glad to report that for the 28th year The Nassau County Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged will be held on May 31 thru June 2nd at the Mitchel Athletic Complex and Nassau Community College. Please consider helping the children. Look for the Security/Crowd Control Volunteer form on page 14.
Joe Wolff has put together an interesting program for our next meeting. Our guest speaker is scheduled to be Mr. Ira Furman. He will be speaking on his distinguished service as an investigator and Deputy Director of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Ira will share with us many highlights from his years of responding from Washington, as the spokesman for the agency’s “GO-TEAM” of investigators at the site of numerous rail and aviation disasters across the country.

Who would believe that after 40 years no one has been held accountable for the murder of PO Phil Cardillo in 1972. It’s hard to ask his son Todd and family to be patient.

In an effort to keep our members better informed we have started a Facebook page under the administration of Joe Wolff, contact Joe or see us at the meeting for more details.

Don’t forget Rich Rottkamp and his committee will once again be hosting The Shields Annual Boat Ride on Friday August 10, try us you’ll have a good time.
On Saturday, May 26, we will again placing flags on the graves of our deceased veterans at LI National Cemetery, in Farmingdale at 0700 Hrs.

Once again, remember to keep in your thoughts and prayers the men and women defending our freedoms every day. Hope we see you on the 26th.


Police Officers of the Month, May 2012

Wed. July 4, 2012 started like any other day for PO John Burnett of the MTA Police Dept., but it would end much differently than any other he had ever experienced. The thirteen year veteran police officer and Naval Reserve Lt. Commander has seen a lot in his time on the job and has also been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, but , nothing could prepare him for what he would encounter this day.

PO Burnett was assigned to the Jamaica Ave. LIRR station a footpost to ensure high visibility to the throng of commuters who use this station daily to travel from Long Island to NYC .Today in addition to the normal commuters there were also the additional crowds going to the beaches and points of interest in NYC to enjoy the holiday.

As PO Burnett walked his post he would encounter literally hundreds of people in a matter of minutes. Some encounters would merely be a glance acknowledging his presence others would be a brief conversation giving directions or other assistance.

At approximately 0928 hrs. while conducting a perimeter inspection of his post PO Burnett was on the street level beneath the trestle on Sutphin Blvd. talking to a cab driver, when suddenly and without any provocation he was attacked by a knife wielding male. The officer was stabbed in the area of his left eye and sustained a serious injury. Realizing he had been stabbed and was bleeding profusely, he went into survival mode , his police and military training kicked into high gear. He immediately began to execute a tactical retreat to put some distance between himself and the perpetrator, all the while yelling ” Police don’t move”, verbal commands to get to attacker to surrender. The perp. ignored these commands and continued to advance on the officer. Having no other options and fearing his life was in imminent danger he drew his service weapon and fired four times striking the perp. with all four rounds.

Both the officer and his attacker were removed to Jamaica Hospital, PO Burnett underwent emergency surgery in an effort to save the vision in his left eye, which sustained severe damage. The attacker was pronounced DOA at Jamaica Hospital, he was later identified as Edgar Owens M/B 46 Yrs. old with a long and violent history of attacking police officers.

For his professionalism and bravery while engaging an armed adversary in a violent life and death encounter, we applaud his actions. His actions bring credit to himself , the MTA Police Dept. and the entire law enforcement community.

The LI Shields are proud to present PO John Burnett with the “cop of the month” award.

Police Officers of the Month, May 2012

During the late afternoon on Sept 17, 2011, 14 year old Danny Lembo was kicking a soccer ball in his backyard when heard what he thought were screams from his neighbor’s house. He advised his parents and they responded to the home to investigate. Unbeknownst to them, Jimmy Delargy, a 26 year old off duty NYPD Police Officer had experienced severe pain and pressure in his skull which had caused him to fall to the floor in his kitchen and cry out for help. The Lembo’s observed what appeared to be someone lying on the floor and reacted swiftly notifying 911 while attempting to gain entry with a spare key they had for the house.

Upon entering into the home, the first responding Nassau County PD Police Officers simultaneously arrived. PO Michael Mazzar followed immediately by PO’s Robert Phaneuf and Dominick Nicholich. The officers encountered the young male writhing on the floor, attempting to verbalize his obvious pain and they quickly began making proper notifications. PO Mazzara calmly advised the CB operator to give the responding ambulance a forthwith response while he detailed the patient’s condition. PO Phaneuf was attempting to communicate with the officer and was advised by neighbors that Jimmy was an NYPD Police Officer. The officers implored their fellow, stricken officer to stay with them and keep his eyes open assuring him help is close by.

Within five minutes of the initial call and being advised of the forthwith two NCPD ambulances arrived at the scene. AMT Christopher Crespo and AMT Lawrence Shapiro are quickly briefed by the police officers. The medics quickly evaluated the severity of the situation and calmly coordinated the care and transport of the patient. Both medical experts realized the patient displayed a distinct symptom called posturing which indicative of a severe medical issue requiring immediate hospitalization. Posturing is an involuntary flexing or extension of the arms and legs indicating a severe brain injury. There was no time to waste.

During transport Jimmy began to vomit, another sign of sever brain injury, so they suctioned his airway allowing him to breath. PO Mazzara drove the ambulance while PO’s Phaneuf and Nicholich provided an escort to ensure a timely and safe transport. All the time the medics were updating NUMC’s emergency room staff.

PO James Delargy had suffered a severely ruptured AVM. An AVM is a congenital tangle of blood vessels in the skull. In lay man’s terms it’s a vein bursting and causing sever bleeding in your skull which would result in certain death if not treated immediately.

The uniformed services of the Nassau County Police Department are being recognized for performing their occupations to the highest standards of professionalism Those we are honoring tonight, along with the swift actions of the Lembo family, are the reason this young NYPD officer is still alive. The Shields of Long Island are proud to honor PO Mazzara, PO Phaneuf, PO Nicolich, AMT Crespo and AMT Shapiro of the NCPD 8th Precinct as our Officers of the month.