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.

Seeking Peace on Earth

With “Holiday Shopping” starting before Hallowe’en this year – [can you believe it??!!], we’ve been greeted in so many – as in, a lot of commercials – by carols already – and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet! Now, whoa…. I’m not launching a grumple-rant with sour grapes. Instead of that, I’m just wondering how long we’ll hear “peace on earth, good will to all” without its losing its intended meaning. There has always been the trap of over-sentimentalizing the age-old phrases – feeling a “good, old-time feeling” with all its fuzzy warmth – without giving any thought to what its all about in our present world.

So, speaking for the real world where morality can make such a difference, guest speaker Matthew Bogdanos, came to visit the L.I. Shields some time back. He told us about how, when he was asked to do so, he felt challenged by what’s right and good…. to head up an investigation into the when and how, the by whom, and how much might have been lost in the outrageous looting of the National Historic Museum of Baghdad following the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regieme in 2003. With a Marine officer’s education, experience, dedication, and fidelity, Colonel Bogdanos led a team that began to create an inventory of all the historic artifacts which the museum’s damaged facilities continued still to hold…. and establish a catalog of everything that now needed to be found and reclaimed. By showing respect for the people whose knowledge could make this team effort work successfully, he helped a city of frustrated, demoralized, and angry Iraqi citizens calm down the rhetoric and demonstrate the need for national pride to replace selfish profit-taking. He surmounted tribal and ethnic suspicion and hatred by focusing sharply on ability and truth.

As Bogdanos saw it, “peace on earth,” had a lot to do with restoring to the people of Iraq appropriate recognition and celebration of the incredibly long history of that ancient land. Against the backdrop of news reports making baseless and false reports of vast losses (in order to sell newspapers), Bogdanos found a way to show that, even though, yes, there were thefts, no, they weren’t as high as the hysteria-generating news items made it to appear. Furthermore there was a backdrop of unscruptulous dealers in antiquities who knew where to go and what to take as plunder from the people of Iraq in the midst of turmoil and lawlessness; these “thieves of Baghdad” needed to be stopped – or at least hindered – from wrenching profits from a nation’s heritage. By making the rest of the world aware of the kinds of items that were missing, the dealers’ markets became more and more limited; the best of the “loot” could not be easily sold.

The book “Thieves of Baghdad” has the power to make anyone who thinks he or she could ever match the service of this Colonel to simply stand in awe. It also gives the power to catch a glimpse of how our best efforts for good and the right, for honesty and respect…. can indeed make a difference in this hurt-saturated world where the hate-filled and violent villains seem to get all the headlines. With strength to care and aid, even “the little guys” can cause the marginalized, the poor, the down-trodden, the sick, and the needy of our world to also catch a glimpse of what “peace on earth” might look like, feel like.

Chaplain JGAnderson

President’s Message: December 2014

Welcome to December, the days are getting shorter and colder. It seems that another year is getting ready to pass us by.

I would personally like to congratulate my friend Joe McGarry on his election as Executive Vice President of the NYS FOP. Joe is a good man who is always there to help any police officer or family who needs help.

NYS FOP President Charlie Caputo has chosen to step down after 8 years to spend more time with his family. We want to commend Charlie for a job well done and offer his successor, Mike Essig, “Good Luck”.

Mary Murphy, PIX-11 reporter will be our special guest speaker at our December 4th meeting. Mary was the reporter who pointedly asked Mayor de Blasio when and how the city would recognize Patrolman Phil Cardillo for his sacrifice. Is it possible that Ms. Murphy’s courageous question initiated the decision to finally honor Patrolman Phil Cardillo ? Try to make the meeting so we can show Mary Murphy our appreciation.

Hopefully we will see you on the 4th. If not have a safe and happy holiday season. We’ll see you next year.

Please remember to bring a toy for a child.
Fraternally,

Rich Petito

Cop of the month award 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 cops of the month.

President’s Message – November 2014

On Wednesday October 1st, I was both privileged and proud to be invited to the dedication of the new Nassau Police Memorial. Due to the construction of this new impressive monument the ceremony was delayed from May until October 1st.

On Wednesday October 8th, I was invited by ARPO to a ceremony honoring Randy Jurgensen (Ret. Det. NYPD) for his persistent work in keeping the name of slain PTL. Phil Cardillo alive until Phil is properly recognized by the city of New York.

Don’t forget that Thursday, November 4th is Election Day. Please be sure to exercise your right to vote and support those candidates who are sympathetic to the police mission.

Now that the fall season is officially upon us our thoughts turn to our annual Children’s Holiday Party, which this year is will take place on December 7th at a new venue (The Coral House) in Baldwin. Details are in this edition of the Call Box on page 7. Mike and Noelle have once again promised a good time to all who attend. Gift baskets for this year’s raffle are always welcome. Success of this affair is dependent on your support.

Remember the meeting on November 6th is the start of our annual toy drive for children that are less fortunate. Please bring an unwrapped toy to our meeting.

Tuesday November 11th is Veterans Day, if you see a veteran remember to say “THANK YOU”.

Hope we see you at the November 6th meeting. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

“Nonsense of Brevity”

I saw the following information in an on-line news item. A newspaper headline called out: “Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms.”

The sentence was intended to indicate that a certain musician’s career had flourished after a painful time following the plane crash which took the life of her father. The odd and unintended combination of “crash blossoms” actually confuses the reader and appears to be nonsense. The example quickly mutated into a term, which was soon picked up by John McIntyre, a retired copy editor (Baltimore Sun) and teacher at Loyola of Maryland since 1995.

The Columbia Journalism Review has been on the “crash-blossom” case a long time, inspiring laughter with such gems as “Lawmen from Mexico Barbecue Guests,” “Genetic Engineering Splits Scientists,” “Milk Drinkers Turn to Powder”, “War Dims Hopes for Peace,” “Greeks Fine Hookers,” “Prostitutes Appeal to Pope,” and “Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant.”
It just got me thinking how many “in- house” expressions there are which people use, rarely comprehending how confusing or even nonsense-like they might sound to others.

For example, consider “Have Faith.” If faith is a gift, how can anyone be commanded to have it? Or, how about the gambit, “Brother – are you saved?” What response is being sought by such a quiz? – Approval by some pop-up judge? Is the question comprehensible?

Even favorite Bible verses, quoted out of context, can sound meaningless to all but the people who are familiar with a lot more than a few words and phrases. The famous placard held up before dozens of football fans on the 50- yard line (and effectively blocking their view just when the best action on the field is finally nearest to them!) either says “John 3:16” or prints it out, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I admire the zeal of the attempted evangelist, but I am curious as to how many people, reading that for a first time at a ball game, would ever find meaning in it. Does not such brevity of word most effectively inspire derision instead of heart-felt persuasion?

I like the one-liner attributed to St. Francis of Assisi – “Preach the Gospel Always: When Necessary, Use Words.” Living a moral and decent life declares more effectively the spirit of true faith than many words.

It was Paul the apostle who preferred to speak five words intelligently than thousands of words in strange “tongues”. [I Cor. 14:19] And St. Augustine advised, “Love God and do what you please.” [It’s a catchy way of using the Latin language structure to attract attention, surprise, and insight: the words say literally “Love God and do what pleases you.” With a proper spirit, the things that please are far from the libertine’s “Do whatever you want!”]

As we project the care and concern of faith, we challenge ourselves on the effectiveness of our transmission techniques, lest we fall into so many crash blossoms! Speak the love of God and lead the neighbor to give God the praise; lead them into the very heart of thanksgiving!

Chaplain JGAnderson