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Sands Point Police Promotions

Lieutenant Thomas Ruehle with newly retired, 31-year member of the Sands Point PD, Chief Mark Mandel and new Chief of Police Richard Lertora

Lieutenant Thomas Ruehle with newly retired, 31-year member of the Sands Point PD, Chief Mark Mandel and new Chief of Police Richard Lertora

The Sands Point Police Department held a promotion ceremony at the Sands Point Village Club mansion on Aug. 3 at 10 a.m. Lieutenant Richard Lertora was promoted to chief of police. Sergeant Thomas Ruehle was promoted to lieutenant and Officer Christina Howes was promoted to sergeant.

Lertora, Ruehle and Howes were all individually sworn in, then proudly had their new badges pinned.

New Police Chief Lertora, on the force for 34 years, said he learned everything he knows from former Police Chief Mark Mandel, and feels “terrific! It’s an honor to be the police chief of one of the best police stations in New York State.”

Newly sworn in Lieutenant Ruehle, on the force for 18 years, is “excited to take over. I look forward to keeping the department going in the same direction as our wonderful chief of 10 years.”

Village trustee Kay Ullman, Police Commissioner Marc Silbert, Deputy Mayor Peter Forman, Sergeant Christina Howes, new Chief of Police Richard Lertora, Lieutenant Thomas Ruehle and Mayor Edward Adler.

Village trustee Kay Ullman, Police Commissioner Marc Silbert, Deputy Mayor Peter Forman, Sergeant Christina Howes, new Chief of Police Richard Lertora, Lieutenant Thomas Ruehle and Mayor Edward Adler

Newly sworn in Sergeant Howes, on the force for 28 years, is the only female police officer in Sands Point Police Department history. She chuckled that “they had to build a new locker room for me. But, what makes a good police force is varied talent and good community.” She is “excited and looking forward to continuing with the village and the people.” Sergeant Howes is also someone who “knows the dogs.” She said, “If a dog goes missing, I’m like the unofficial dog whisperer.”

Retiring Chief of Police Mark Mandel, on the force for 31 years, with a decade as police chief, said that the promotion of Lertora will be a “perfect, smooth transition. Richard Lertora will do a wonderful job as chief of police.”

On July 31, the Sands Point Police Department also hosted a final “walk-off” for Mandel.

Police Receive New State Funding

The Port Washington Police District has received $10,000 in state funding which will be used to undertake additional investigation and surveillance operations to combat crime and protect the community’s quality of life. “Port Washington’s police officers work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep our streets safe. Delivering this new funding will allow the Port Washington police to take additional steps to enhance the entire community’s quality of life,” said State Senator Jack M. Martins.

“On behalf of the Board of Police Commissioners, I thank Senator Martins for securing this funding and his concern for our community. The Port Washington Police District will intensify its efforts in resolving quality-of-life issues and keeping our community safe,” said Port Washington Police Chief James Salerno.

Rescues By Bay Constables

Councilwoman Lee Seeman, Bay Constable Mike Green, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, Bay Constable Phil Purcell, Bay Constable Victor Fuentes, Councilman Peter Zuckerman, Chief Bay Constable Mal Nathan, Town Clerk Wayne Wink Jr., Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman.

Councilwoman Lee Seeman, Bay Constable Mike Green, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, Bay Constable Phil Purcell, Bay Constable Victor Fuentes, Councilman Peter Zuckerman, Chief Bay Constable Mal Nathan, Town Clerk Wayne Wink Jr., Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman.

North Hempstead Bay Constables rescued a distressed vessel off Hewlett Point on July 3. At around 11 p.m. the vessel’s engine died and it was drifting towards the nearby rocks. Bay Constables Steven Somma and Terrence Doyle arrived to help with the Port Washington Fire Department, who put out the engine fire. The constables then towed the vessel safely inland and removed the main batteries and a damaged wiring harness. There were no reported injuries from the incident.

This was the second time the Bay Constables were called to a rescue in the past few months. On May 26, at 5:15 p.m., three kayaks from Atlantic Outfitter flipped in the water. Bay Constables Steve Somma and Victor Fuentes brought the kayaks to safety by boat. Atlantic Outfitters staff arrived at the scene. The only injury was a minor abrasion.

“We are extremely grateful for our Bay Constables’ vigilance in helping these boaters as they navigate North Hempstead waters. They have proved once again how vital they are to the safety of boaters in our town,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.

Nassau Cops Endorse Murray For DA

Police union members with Brian Hoesl, president of Superior Officers Association (standing behind Police Officer Steven McDonald), Supervisor Kate Murray, candidate for Nassau County DA, Glenn Ciccone, president of Nassau County Police Department Detectives Association and James Carver, president of Nassau PBA.

Police union members with Brian Hoesl, president of Superior Officers Association (standing behind Police Officer Steven McDonald), Supervisor Kate Murray, candidate for Nassau County DA, Glenn Ciccone, president of Nassau County Police Department Detectives Association and James Carver, president of Nassau PBA.

Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President James Carver, Nassau County Superior Officers Association (SOA) President Brian Hoesl and Nassau County Detectives Association President (DAI) Glen T. Ciccone joined other law enforcement officials to announce Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray as their choice for Nassau County District Attorney in the November election. The endorsement ceremony took place on July 27 at the Nassau County Court House in Mineola. In the election, Murray will face the Democratic candidate chosen in the September 10 Democratic primary. Acting DA Madeline Singas is being challenged in the Democratic primary by attorney Michael Scotto.

The Nassau County police unions represent over 2,200 police officers, detectives and officers. They provide law enforcement for over 1.4 million residents. The Nassau County Police Department was formed in 1925 and is one the largest and oldest suburban police departments in the nation.

Port’s Top Cop

With Father’s Day come and gone, I couldn’t help thinking of my own father, Samuel Wolf Blankman. If ever I complained about a teacher, my old man said, “Why is it always the teacher? Why isn’t it you?” He advised me to tell the truth because then I wouldn’t have to remember what I said. And he stressed strongly: “Don’t break the law and you’ll never have a problem with the police.”

Speaking of police, Port Washington has been blessed with a first-rate police presence. That doesn’t happen by accident. It is the result of the strong, enlightened leadership of our chiefs and our three elected police commissioners and a cadre of dedicated men and women who round out our police force.

James Salerno

James Salerno

Port Washington’s new Police Chief, James Salerno, is a rara avis. He is the only chief in memory who is Port Washington born and bred. He went to Main Street School, then to Weber Junior High and graduated from Schreiber. His father, Albert, worked in the sand pits for a time and later became a custodian at Sousa Junior High. His mother, Lucy, worked as a paraprofessional for the school district for 40 years, retiring at age 80.

When he was younger, Salerno didn’t consider becoming a police officer. But he did become a member of Port’s fire department in 1977. Two years later, when Port’s Fire Medics Company was founded, Salerno was aboard, remaining for five years and earning the rank of captain. And fate handed him a bonus.

One day, Salerno spotted a young woman coming up the ramp to the Fire Medics. There was nothing wrong with his eyesight. “I saw her and I thought she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen,” he said, smiling broadly. Her name was Jean. She was going to nursing school. He admits to being bashful, which meant it took him some time to ask her for a date. But when he did, the courtship lasted five years. By then, Jean was a nurse at St. Francis. They were married in 1985, found an apartment on Avenue B in Port and settled in, and in time the stork brought Christopher, Ashley and Robbie (now 27, 25 and 22).

Salerno had been working as a paramedic in New York City in 1981, but in 1983, he took a test for Nassau County police and passed, but chose the Port Washington police. In September 1985, he was sworn in by the then-chief Frank Donahue. “I spent the next
five years on patrol,” he said.
(Not to worry, his career was on the ascendant.)

On April Fools’ Day, 1984, Salerno was promoted to sergeant. Six years later, he became a detective. He was promoted to lieutenant in October 2000, assigned to a patrol for one month, then moved to administration, where he became Chief William Kilfoil’s administrative assistant. By 2004, he was promoted to assistant chief. And when Chief Kilfoil retired in March 2013 after 39 years, Assistant Chief Salerno became Acting Chief Salerno. He was required to take the civil service test for chiefs, which he did, coming out number one. On October 19, Acting Chief Salerno became Chief James Salerno.

Police Commissioner James Duncan, 19 years on the job, seven times as chairman, explained, “I have worked with him as a lieutenant, assistant chief and finally chief. He scored number one on the Civil Service Chiefs Test. Jim is the most experienced and a fine worker.” Duncan should know. He has been a dedicated Port firefighter for 52 years and was a Nassau County police officer for 23 years.

Salerno’s predecessor, William Kilfoil, has only high praise for him. “His assistance to me was vital. His professional skills abound and he has an unlimited capacity to work with people to get the job done. I am proud to call him my colleague and my friend.”

Chief Salerno became a police officer because, he said, “I always wanted to do something to help people.” Then, emotionally, he added, “But of all the things I’ve done, the awards and medals, the best thing in my whole career was the baby girl I delivered in the lobby at headquarters. I was getting ready to go off duty after an overnight shift. A cab pulls in with a man and woman in the backseat. The woman was obviously pregnant and ready to deliver. They stopped at the police station because they couldn’t make it to the hospital in time. We carried her in, laid her on the couch and I delivered the baby…I was delighted to be present at her 15th birthday celebration.”

Chief Salerno is a born communicator with great passion for his job. He has set up forums for residents to say what’s on their minds. “I love this job. I love the community and the police officers here, the men and women, who keep us safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.

“I am sure he will continue to do a fine job for the people of Port Washington for many years to come,” Kilfoil said.

 

Chabad Rabbi Appointed PWPD Chaplain

Chabad’s Rabbi Shalom Paltiel has been appointed Chaplain of the Port Washington Police District. He is pictured with the chiefs and commissioners, being presented with his official shield. From left: Chief James Salerno, Deputy Chief Jeffrey Morris, Commissioner James Duncan, Rabbi Paltiel, Commissioner Angela Lawlor-Mullins, Commissioner Dave Franklin, Deputy Chief Robert Del Muro and Police District Attorney Rich Finkel

Chabad’s Rabbi Shalom Paltiel has been appointed Chaplain of the Port Washington Police District. He is pictured with the chiefs and commissioners, being presented with his official shield. From left: Chief James Salerno, Deputy Chief Jeffrey Morris, Commissioner James Duncan, Rabbi Paltiel, Commissioner Angela Lawlor-Mullins, Commissioner Dave Franklin, Deputy Chief Robert Del Muro and Police District Attorney Rich Finkel

Prom Safety

The Board of Port Washington Police Commissioners and Chief James Salerno remind young people to make responsible choices on prom night. Parents and guardians need to talk with their teens regarding prom safety.

Tips for Parents

• Know and discuss the school code of conduct before the prom with your child.

• Does the school code of conduct extend to off-site functions that have been approved by the school?

• Know who your child is attending the prom with and discuss the events for pre- and post-prom parties with other parents.

• Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving. New York State law mandates arrest and license revocation or suspension of any person under 21 driving with .02 percent or more blood alcohol content (one drink!).

• Talk with your child about the dangers of club drugs, warning signs and who to notify for assistance.

• Preplan and roleplay answers that your child can use to get out of uncomfortable situations. (For example, being offered alcohol, getting a ride from an intoxicated driver or unwanted sexual advances).

• Discuss guidelines and a curfew. Discuss the consequences of violating these rules.

• Discuss travel plans. Use a reputable limousine service that will not allow a person to bring, serve or introduce alcohol into the vehicle.

• Know who is driving to the prom and who will be a passenger. Limit the number of passengers to increase safety and reduce driver distractions.

• Know the location of post-prom parties and who is sponsoring them.

• Talk to your teenager about the serious dangers and consequences of underage drinking and driving.

• If your child’s plans change, confirm the change with the parents of other children.

• Remind your child that you are there for them if they need a ride home or to an after-prom affair.

Tips for Teens

• Alcohol is illegal for persons under the age of 21. Underage drinking is illegal and can result in arrest, injury or worse.

• Don’t let friends drink and drive.

• Plan ahead—make sure you have a safe plan for prom night.

• Discuss your plans with your friends; remind each other about responsible decision-making and confronting peer pressure.

• Do not accept any drinks from someone you do not know. If you leave your drink, discard it and get a new one.

• Do not leave your possessions unattended.

• Learn the warning signs for alcohol poisoning and drug intoxication. Contact 911 for assistance and immediate treatment.

• Take extra money or have a responsible person available for transportation for a safe ride home or in case an emergency arises.

• Remember to charge your cell phone and have it with you.

• Know where you are and where you are going, keep your parents and friends informed.

• Trust your instincts. If you feel endangered or uncomfortable, leave immediately.

• Intoxication by alcohol or drugs can lead to poor judgment and dangerous situations.

• Remember to contact your parents if your plans change.

• Practice and discuss answers you can use to get out of uncomfortable situations.

• Do not allow anyone who has drugs or weapons to get into your car or limo. It is dangerous and everyone in the car is at risk of getting arrested.

• It is illegal to alter your driver’s license or any other form of government identification.
—Submitted by the
Port Washington Police District

 

Nassau County Police Department Notice

MissingBoyNotice from Nassau County Police Department re: missing boy

Holiday Safe & Sober Campaign

The Port Washington Police District has announced that they are participating in New York’s Holiday Safe & Sober Campaign.  This campaign will run from Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25.

In 2013, 290,000 Americans were injured and 10,076 deaths were caused by drunk driving accidents. In an effort to reduce this number, the Port Washington Police District is engaging in aggressive enforcement of impaired driving offenses.  Sustained impaired driving enforcement, together with periodic high visibility crackdowns such as the Safe & Sober Campaign, is the key to making our community safer. The funding for this campaign was provided by the Nassau County “STOP DWI” through a grant from the New York State “STOP DWI Coordinators Foundation by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee”.

Please don’t drink and drive!

– Submitted by the Port Washington Police District

Free Smoke Detectors

The Port Washington Crisis Relief Team is a community organization working with the Red Cross on a new Home Fire Safety Preparedness Campaign. They will be installing smoke detectors to any Port Washington family that needs one for FREE. The installation date is May 30. Any Port Washington resident can go to the PWCRT table at PortFest on May 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and sign up for an appointment for a free installation. The goal of the program is to reduce the numbers of fire deaths and injuries in the United States by 25% over the next 5 years. Anyone interested in volunteering to be a part of this campaign can email Vivian Moy at pwcrteam@gmail.com. For more information on the Home Fire Safety Preparedness Campaign, go to pwcrisisrelief.com.

Vivian Moy of Port Washington Crisis Relief Team at PortFest 2014

Vivian Moy of Port Washington Crisis Relief Team at PortFest 2014