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.

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

Police Officer of the Month, June 2014

On Saturday March 19th, 2014 Police Officers Michael Konatsotis a 17 year veteran and David Roussine a 2 year veteran of the NYPD currently assigned to the 30 Pct., were reassigned to fly into the 19th Pct. for the day, due to staffing shortage in the 19th PCT. The day tour was quiet until a mid afternoon radio run was assigned to them regarding an aided case of an infant with difficulty breathing.

At approximately 1421 hrs. the officers were dispatched to 207 East 74th St. to investigate the aided case. Upon their arrival at that location they met in front of the building by residents of the building and the parents of the child, all of the people were excited and extremely concerned for the welfare of the child as she had apparently stopped breathing on her own.

The officers quickly assessed the situation and determined immediate action was necessary to save the childs life , without hesitation they quickly placed the child in their RMP and proceeded to the hospital. With PO Konatsotis in the back performing chest compressions and giving mouth to mouth resuscitation and PO Roussine at the wheel , not a moment was wasted to save this childs life. Upon arrival at Cornell Hospital Center, the child began to breathe on her own.

The child was identified as Norah Schecter female 15 months old DOB 11/19/12 of 207 E. 74 St., daughter of Jason and Diane Schecter of the same address.

The aided was treated and released with no apparent damage or serious problems.

The professional manner in which these officers responded to this situation is to be commended. Their quick assessment of the condition of the aided , her age and the dire consequences if she had not been revived as quickly as she was were factors the officers used to make the decision to transport themselves, rather than wait for an ambulance.

The actions of these officers, in quickly assessing the condition of the and then rendering aid and transporting the child to the hospital no doubt saved her life.

Their professionalism , intelligent actions and cool and calm demeanor bring credit to themselves, the 30 Pct. , the New York City Police Dept. and the entire law enforcement community.

For these reasons the Long Island Shields are proud to recognize PO Michael Konatsotis and PO David Roussine as the Police Officers of the month.

2014 Scholarship Winners

The following are the Shields 2014 scholarship winners

  • Douglas Toledo, attending Stony Brook University
  • Christopher Greer, attending Adelphi University
  • Lara Oliva, attending Nassau Community College
  • Riley Lestings, attending Stony Brook University
  • Kelly O’Keefe, attending Suffolk Community College
  • Jessica Lanning, attending Mt. St. Mary College

President’s Message – September 2014

Welcome Back! I hope that you and your family members had an enjoyable and safe summer.

I wish to thank Patti McDonald, the wife of Detective Steven McDonald for assisting us in getting Steven as our guest speaker at our June meeting. Steven’s talk was inspirational and held our guests attention. His strength and fortitude is so admirable, but the fact that he chose to forgive the individual who shot him is amazing. We would also like to thank Steven for giving us copies of the book “Why Forgive?” in which there is a chapter written about his shooting.

Speaking of books, Ret. LT. (NYPD) has published his 3rd a trilogy; A Letter to Ballyturan.

To our latest scholarship winners. Congratulations, keep in touch and let us know how your next step in the educational process is doing.

Please note the location of our September 18th at The Coral House in Baldwin. This change was made to accommodate members living in the city and western Nassau.

Let us know what you think. We hope you like it.

Hope we see you on Sept 18th
Richie Petito