President’s Message: February 2015

Welcome to 2015, let’s hope it is better than the end of 2014.

In December the unprovoked, cowardly, vicious ASSASINATIONS of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos shocked the police community, as well as the country. Let us always remember their sacrifice and keep these two fine officers and all police officers in our prayers.

On a much more positive note let us thank both Noele and Mike Villa for the wonderful Children’s Christmas Party at The Coral House in Baldwin. The party was well attended and the parents as well as the children had a great time. Thanks go to Bob Forrester for bringing Santa to entertain the kids. Also, our thanks go to Dave Fischer for providing many fun gifts.

Our December meeting was well attended and a great success thanks to our guest speaker Mary Murphy, PIX-11 reporter. Mary spoke of the fight to properly recognize the sacrifice of Ptl. Phil Cardillo. Mary has promised to follow the process until a decision is reached.

I have recently been made aware that what may possibly be the last memorial motorcycle ride to honor to Ptl. Phil Cardillo will be held on Sunday, April 19th.

Hopefully, a street will be named in his honor at the new NYPD academy.

I hope to see you at the February 19 meeting. Bring a potential new member.

Fraternally,
Richie

Police Officers of the Month November 2014

On Monday June 16th, 2014 Chief Martin Thompson of the Head of the Harbor Police Department was returning from a vacation to Ireland. He was accompanied by his family , including his daughter Colleen Thompson, a Deputy Sheriff in the Suffolk County Sheriffs’ Office. With his brother at the wheel of their vehicle the conversation was about the trip.

As they reached the exit from the Southern State Parkway they merged onto the Sagtikos Parkway northbound when they saw a 1994 Buick veer off the road and crash into some trees. Chief Thompson told his brother to stop the car and dial 911. Without hesitation Chief Thompson exited his vehicle and ran to the vehicle to render aid, with his daughter Colleen right behind him. Upon approaching the vehicle they observed an elderly man slumped over in the front seat. They immediately saw flames coming from the undercarriage of the vehicle and realized the seriousness of the situation. Deputy Thompson was able to enter the backseat of the vehicle and began to calm and reassure the victim help was on the way. The elderly occupant of the vehicle, later identified as Sam Parkins 85 yrs. old of Wyandanch, was reporting he was in severe pain and asked that he not be moved. Chief Thompson’s attempt to open the door was unsuccessful, he then found a large rock and broke the window , knowing that the victim had to be extricated as quickly as possible due the growing flames. At this point a retired NYC firefighter arrived on the scene and together all three first responders were able to lift the victim out of the flaming car to safety. Mr. Parkins was removed to Stony Brook Hospital with a broken pelvis, two broken legs and chest injuries.

There is no doubt the actions of Chief Thompson, his daughter Deputy Sheriff Colleen Thompson and the retired NYC firefighter saved the life of Mr. Parkins. Their quick decisive actions in spite of grave personal danger are a tribute to their bravery and devotion to duty , dedication to their community and compassion for others in time of need.

It is for these reasons the Long Island Shields are proud to name them as the Police Officers of the month.

Chaplain’s Message: February 2015

When Sir Robert Peel decided to form the first London Metropolitan Police Department, 1829 he wanted to recruit the best men that the city had to offer. While serving as England’s Home Secretary he was responsible for reorganizing the criminal and penal codes. This resulted in the passing of the Metropolitan Police Act, which established the first professional police force in Great Brittan.

It was in the local newspapers and neighborhoods that he posted the announcement below.

“I want you for PEELS’ Police”

You must be aged between 23-40 years of age.

You will be paid the following rates:
CONSTABLE – 17 shillings per week *
SERGEANT – 1 pound l shilling per week.
SUPERINTENDENT – 3 pounds 10 shillings per week.
CHIEF CONSTABLE – 13 pounds 10 shillings per week.
* Note: (20 Shillings equals 1 Pound, today $1.50 USD…..much less then !!)

Working hours will be eight ten or twelve hour shifts, seven days a week. No rest days are allowed and only one week holiday per annum, unpaid.

Every encouragement will be given to officers to grow beards as shaving is regarded as unhealthy. However beards must not exceed two inches in length.

Uniform will be worn at all times to prevent accusations of spying on the public whilst in ordinary clothes. A duty band will be worn to indicate whether or not you are on duty.

You are NOT allowed to vote in elections.

You must NOT gossip with the public. In particular avoid conversations with female servants or other women on duty. Do not walk or converse with your comrades, merely exchange a word and pass on. You will walk about 20 miles per shift.

No meal breaks are allowed. The top hat may be used to hold a snack. You must inform the Superintendent before you associate, eat or drink with any civilians. You are NOT allowed to sit down in public houses at any time.

Before attending for medical examination and interview to join the police, it is advisable to have a bath.

You must expect a hostile reception from all sections of the public and be prepared to be assaulted, stoned or stabbed in the course of your duties.

With the exception of the last sentence (in bold), a lot has changed in the manner and mode of policing! I would venture to say, that 175 years ago, Robert Peel never envisioned the height of lawlessness that law enforcement has to deal with in today’s world. Perhaps that is why the local Police Constable in London today does not carry a firearm. Given what is currently happening in Europe, that too may soon change. But here in the United States, we have a proliferation of firearms, legal and illegal, that sometimes rivals the best firearms that are issued to our police officers, to protect themselves and the citizens in their charge. But defensive weapons are only tools in a box, to be used only when appropriate and necessary, in order to do the job.

While most ordinary citizens and groups in our nation respect the police and their profession, sadly, there are those who do not. Support for law enforcement must first come from the citizens themselves, and those they elect to insure support through official legislation. One of Peel’s “Nine Principles of Policing” states: “The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured, diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

In my view, no amount of money can be enough to pay someone, who leaves his or her family and home in the morning or evening, straps on a duty belt, dons a vest, and wonders whether they will be able to return to that home safe and sound when the shift is done! That’s what 99% of police officers do, day in and day out, in all kinds of weather conditions, placing themselves in harms’ way to protect all of us from violence and danger. Indeed, it is time for ordinary citizens to speak up, and speak out, when police officers become targets for vile rhetoric and abuse by individuals and factions, whose only motive is to create discord and disharmony, and undermine our justice system. Why does it take the Line of Duty Death of a police Officer to bring out public displays of support? Why not display honor and pride for law enforcement when we are all calm and secure?

I am reminded of the words of a former President of the United States, who was also once a Police Commissioner for New York City Police Department. In speaking of officers, who have done difficult things under difficult circumstances, he said;” “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows, in the end, triumph of high achievement; and at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” And in speaking about the role and dignity of the police profession, he said: “ No man is worth his salt, who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well-being, to risk his life in a great cause.”… “Far and away the best prize that life offers, is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Truly, in law enforcement we are all doing God’s work, and that indeed, is work worth doing!

This article is dedicated to the Memory of NYPD Officers Ramos and Liu.