Chaplain’s Corner, September 2013

Chaplain’s Sacred Task

Our society today is blessed with technological and medical advances unparalleled in world history. And there is more to come. The potential of humanity to continue to be partners with G-d in creating a good life for all is explained throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes,

However, for those of us being blessed with the honor and privilege of protecting society know very well the reality of the cruelty of man to man.

The day to day reality has an impact on all of our police officers. There are times that a police officer also has to endure challenges outside of police work, such as family matters, finances, etc.

One of the resources available to police officers and their families is the unlimited resources a Department Chaplain can offer to resolve one’s personal concern. And one’s CONFIDENTIALITY is sacred.

Of course it’s very important that there is the “family” feel that a police officer connects with the chaplain. The chaplain has the ability to network with all the resources an MOS needs to resolve whatever issue one has. The chaplain’s resources are what I term fondly the CIA, Chaplain’s Intelligence Agency.

One hopes that an MOS or family never needs the chaplain’s support. However, it is always available.

Best wishes and safe patrol.

Rabbi Tzvi Berkowitz
Chaplain, Long Island Shields

President’s Message, September 2013

Congratulations to our recent Scholarship winners, and their families. Larry Oliva and his committee did a great job selecting and verifying the winning applications. Thanks go to the winners who have corresponded their appreciation back to us. Please write to us any time your letters will always be welcome.

At this time I wish to offer my personal and deepest condolences to Pete Cardalena and his wife Rosalie on the loss of their beloved daughter Lisa, who lost her battle with cancer.

On Tuesday, July 16, The Shields made a trip to Bethpage Ballpark in Islip to enjoy a barbecue and see the Long Island Ducks do battle with the Maryland Blue Crabs. A good time was had by all who attended and the Ducks won. Good job by Luke Johnson on The Shields behalf.

On Saturday, August 3, a delegation of Shields members had the honor to attend a street naming ceremony in West Babylon honoring slain PO Pete Figoski, who lost his life in the performance of duty. I guess the people of Babylon are more receptive to honor a hero, than the residents of the 28 Pct. It was a sincere honor to have the Figoski family attend our last meeting, and to present Pete’s parents Frank and Maryanne a small presentation for the family.

Our next meeting will be Thursday September 26th. I have been advised that former FBI agent Joe Pistone, (Donnie Brasco) has agreed to be our guest speaker. Try to attend it promises to be an interesting evening.

Stay safe,

Police Officer of the Month, September 2013

On August 29, just before midnight, a 911 call was received for a home invasion burglary on Lynbrook Ave in Point Lookout. The victim stated to officers that a man in a camouflage jacket, with dark pants and a bandana over his face had broken into her home and threatened her with a knife. Fortunately, the suspect left the house when the victim started screaming. She informed the responding officers that the subject fled in the direction of Bayside Dr.

The officers were able to develop the name of the subject and responded to his residence. Sergeant Stillman and PO Adamo knocked on the front door as Police Officers Badlolato, Walters and Shevy Berkovits covered the rear of the residence. The rear of this bayfront house is a short sandy beach and it was very dark out. When the suspect’s father refused to allow the police to speak to his son, the officers maintained the perimeter while waiting for detectives to arrive. After several long minutes, the subject quietly exited the house and without warning or provocation charged towards PO Berkovits with his arm up and holding a large knife ready for an overhand, downward thrust into the officer. PO Berkovits realized he was in imminent danger of death, but still shouted verbal commands for the subject to stop his actions. The subject did not comply and continued his attack. With no other option available, PO Berkovits fired his pistol at the subject in order to stop the attack. The subject then turned in an attempt to stab another officer who was in close proximity. Recognizing the immediacy of the situation, PO Berkovits fired again, this time to save his fellow officer’s life. The subject was mortally wounded by this shot, thus ceasing the attack.

Police Officer Berkovits is recognized tonight for intelligently distinguishing himself by the performance of an act of courage involving the imminent risk of death to himself and his fellow officers. Police Officer Berkovits acted with restraint and he only fired his weapon when there was no other option available to save his own life and then the lives of fellow officers. For these heroic actions the Shields of Long Island is proud to honor Police Officer Shevach Berkovits as our Police Officer of the Month.