Letter sent to Chief James Salerno and asked to be reprinted in the Port Washington News.
I’m writing this letter to you on behalf of Tom Ritchie’s family. Losing Tom has been a very difficult loss for his family and I’m sure for those officers who worked with him and got to know him.
Tom was a big brother that shielded me and could be counted on to help with anything that I encountered in my younger days. It may have provided an excellent training ground for the support and skills he would later display as a police officer in both New York City and Port Washington. I heard from more than one officer who expressed relief when Officer Ritchie arrived on scene as backup. The outpouring of support showed by the officers of the Port Washington Police Department was absolutely amazing and warmed our aching hearts. In particular, members Albert Bartkowski, Robert DelMuro and Thomas Barry truly went above and beyond in assisting our family in this time of loss and uncertainty. We cannot completely express all of the gratitude and thanks for all that you and the officers of the Port Washington Police Department did in memory of Tom.
From the officers of the multiple police departments that included Southold PD, Hempstead PD, Long Beach PD, Suffolk County PD, Nassau County PD, NYPD, New York State Police, to the Port Washington Police Department’s Honor Guard unit, pallbearers, Commissioners and retired and active members of the Department at the wake services and funeral, as well as members of the Port Washington Fire Department for their support and hospitality, we will be forever grateful for the sendoff that was given our brother, son, husband and father. Through all of your actions, Tom’s family witnessed a special bond and brotherhood between him and his fellow officers, the likes of which is generally not seen in the business world, where financial dealings are often the reason for the bond, not the undeniable true caring for an officer and their family that was displayed for us.
I can only hope that in Tom’s memory, each day the residents of Port Washington realize what exceptional officers make up your Police Department and how fortunate they are to have these brave men and women there to serve and protect their community.
May almighty God bless and watch over Tom, and all members of the Port Washington Police Department, past, present and future.
—Kevin P. Ritchie