The Massapequa Chamber of Commerce, alongside council members of Nassau County, gathered last week at Gusto Divino Trattoria in Seaford to recognize a policeman of exceptional caliber. Officer Christopher Lamonica, from the 7th precinct, was recognized as the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his unwavering bravery and dedication.
Officer Lamonica had been on duty earlier in the year when he was alerted to a robbery in progress occurring in Merrick that seemed to be continuing in Massapequa. Lamonica stealthily laid in wait, and when the suspect turned up, he was detained. Lamonica confirmed that this individual was a serial robber who was wanted by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was also carrying a loaded gun. Because of the intervention of Officer Lamonica, this robber was stopped after hitting only the second location of many he had planned.
“Thank you very much for having me today. I’m really honored,” Lamonica addressed the Chamber and council members. “I’ve been [policing] here for a little over nine years, and I’ve never had this much of a warm welcome,” he laughed. “My wife’s family, they grew up in Massapequa, so for me I’ve got some roots here from my family’s side.”
Lamonica was more than modest about his efforts with the NCPD. “I love being a Nassau County cop. I don’t do anything special, I just do my job. Sometimes things just go your way. I’ve had some really great teachers, supervisors, and people who have shown me the right way. You’ve got me for another five years,” he concluded, to laughter and applause from all attending. Lamonica was presented with several citations and awards, including a plaque from the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce.
A plethora of representatives and local government members were also in attendance to show their appreciation for Lamonica and the Police Department. John K. Mikulin of Assembly District 17 said, “What [these officers] do every single day, the sacrifices you make in order to protect our community, is absolutely wonderful and deserves to be praised. Especially in today’s day and age, where we see so many people who don’t respect our officers. It is a shame. But we here back the blue.”
Assemblymember Michael Durso echoed this sentiment, vowing that he will always do what he can to support the tireless efforts of the NCPD. “I want to thank Officer Lamonica. He said he was just ‘doing his job’,” Durso addressed, “But that is such an important job. Many people don’t want to do your job, or find excuses not to. I think I speak for everyone here when I say thank you, for continuing to do that job, and protect your community, protecting all of us. Certainly, we cannot thank you enough, and we will always have your back.”
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph S. Saladino also spoke at the award presentation. “Why do we all want to be here,” he asked, “Because you do so much. Nobody does more than law enforcement, because they put their lives on the line for our safety. You turn on the television, and you can see things are getting worse and worse. We’re trying to keep our communities safe, keep our economy growing, and it’s really law enforcement that steps into danger for the rest of us.”
“Without safety, we’re nothing,” Saladino continued. “We really appreciate all that you do, and that the members of the Nassau County Police Department — which I believe is the finest in the nation — do. ”