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Fire departments, town and village governments, and schools all participated in memorial events to commemorate the lives lost during Sept. 11, 2001. Residents came to show support, as well as help read off the names of those who perished, lay wreaths and take a moment to honor the American lives lost, and all the first responders and civilians who helped save lives at Ground Zero.


A man touches the wall to pay respect to someone he lost on Sept. 11, 2001 at Rocky Point Fire Department’s 9/11 memorial service. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Residents throughout Suffolk County will have their choice of memorial ceremonies to attend this Sept. 11.


The East Northport Fire Department will be hosting its annual memorial service this Sunday, with two separate events, both being held at the Ninth Avenue side of the firehouse at the 9/11 Memorial Monument on Sept. 11. The morning ceremony will begin at 9:45 a.m., and the evening candlelight vigil will begin at 8 p.m. Both ceremonies are set around an eight-foot, 8,000-pound steel beam from Ground Zero that the department received from the Port Authority. During the ceremony, firefighters will read victim’s names, and sirens will sound to commemorate the collapse of the twin towers. The Northport High School Tights will sing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” with “Amazing Grace” played by the Northport Pipe & Drum Band. There will be a 21-gun salute from the Marine Corps League and the release of memorial doves.  A memorial banner will be displayed on a fire engine that lists all of the victim’s names. A Suffolk County Police Department helicopter will be doing a flyover during the ceremony. 

Huntington Town will also be holding a small ceremony at Heckscher Park at noon this Friday, Sept. 9.


Members of the East Northport Fire Department participate in the annual 9/11 memorial service on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Members of the East Northport Fire Department participate in the annual 9/11 memorial service on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

The Commack School District will be presenting a candlelight ceremony of remembrance. It will be held at the Commack High School football field at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. The 9/11 Memorial Players, Mimi Juliano, Mark Newman and Joe Zogbi, will perform music, and honorary guest speakers will attend.

The St. James Fire Department will also be hosting a service at 6 p.m. Sunday at the 9/11 memorial at the firehouse. Local legislators will speak, the Smithtown High School band and choir will perform, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9486 will perform a gun salute. The names of Smithtown residents and community members who lost their lives on Sept. 11 will be read including New York Police Officer Glenn Pettit, New York Fire Department Chief Lawrence Stack, New York Fire Department Chief Donald Burns, Port Authority Officer Jean Andrucki and New York Fireman Doug Oelschlager.


The Order Sons of Italy in America will host its seventh annual 9/11 tribute. The candlelight remembrance is at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at Harborfront Park at Port Jefferson Village Center located at 101A East Broadway. The event will feature guest speakers and refreshments. All are welcome. For more information contact Anthony Rotoli Jr. at 631-928-7489.

The Sons of Italy Lodge was renamed the Vigiano Brothers Lodge to honor Port Jefferson residents. John Vigiano Jr. was a firefighter and Joseph Vigiano was a police detective.  On Sept. 11, 2001, both Vigiano brothers responded to the call to the World Trade Center, and both were killed while saving others. John Vigiano Sr. is a retired NYC firefighter whose two sons followed him into service.  The attacks of 9/11 inflicted a tremendous loss on his family and also on our country. Therefore, we honored these two heroes and their family by naming the Sons of Italy Lodge after them in Port Jefferson.

The Port Jefferson Fire Department will host its annual 9/11 memorial ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 11, at 9:30 a.m. At the Maple Place firehouse, firefighters and residents will gather to pay their respects to those who died in the terrorist attacks in 2001, including first responders from the Town of Brookhaven who perished while answering the call of duty at the World Trade Center. The ceremony includes a memorial service in which the names of the town firefighters who died that day will be read aloud.

An official plays the bugle at Port Jefferson Fire Department's 13th annual 9/11 memorial ceremony. Photo by Giselle Barkley
An official plays the bugle at Port Jefferson Fire Department’s 13th annual 9/11 memorial ceremony. Photo by Giselle Barkley

The Rocky Point Fire Department 9/11 Memorial Committee invites the communities of Rocky Point and Shoreham to its 15th Annual 9/11 Memorial Ceremony on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. This ceremony will take place at the 9/11 Community Memorial site which is located on the corner of Route 25A and Tesla Street in Shoreham, next to the Shoreham Firehouse. Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

In honor of the 15th anniversary of the events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, the Setauket Fire District will host a community 9/11 remembrance ceremony Sunday, Sept. 11, beginning at 10 a.m. The program will take place at the district’s 9/11 Memorial Park, located at 394 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. The ceremony will include brief remarks from department representatives, a moment of silence and the official dedication of the two “survivor trees” recently planted in the fire district’s 9/11 Memorial Park. These trees were seeded from the 9/11 survivor tree located at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center. Light refreshments will follow the ceremony, and attendees will be invited to visit the different sections of the expanded Setauket 9/11 Memorial Park, which also includes a stone monument inscribed with the names of those lost on 9/11 and a patriotic water display.

The Alumni Association of Stony Brook University will sponsor a commemoration of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, throughout Monday, Sept. 12, with a field of pinwheels on the Academic Mall. This is the third year that the event will be held. Students and faculty are invited to take a moment to remember those lost.

Greenlawn Park was taped off Saturday morning after a dead body with lacerations was discovered at the end of August. File photo by Gabriella Espinoza

Earlier this summer, Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) announced the decision to increase patrol in Huntington with park rangers, who would monitor town parks and improve security, and this past weekend these rangers finished their training.

Starting last Thursday night, Sept. 1, five of the eventual six rangers went through orientation and preparation procedures, and experienced their first nights out on the job.

Huntington Station resident Jim McGoldrick was not able to get a glance of the rangers in work during the weekend, but praised the idea.

“I think it’s a great move on the town,” he said in a phone interview. “Every little bit helps. It’s coming together, and is helping the community.”

A.J. Carter, town spokesperson, said the weekend was a success, in a phone interview: “People were very happy to see them. They were given information from the community; people responded very positively.”

Although their jurisdiction is in town parks, the park rangers can intervene if they see activity on the roads or other areas outside the parks.

The officers are meant to function as peace officers do. According to New York State criminal procedure law, peace officers can make warrantless arrests; use physical force to make an arrest or prevent an escape; carry out warrantless searches with probable cause; and issue appearance tickets. They can also carry firearms and take away weapons from people who do not have the proper licenses to carry.

Carter said all rangers are certified with a firearm, know how to use a defibrillator, administer Narcan and everything else required of a peace officer.

The town spokesperson also said the exact shift times and locations have not yet been decided, as they want the rangers themselves to be able to give input once they have more experience on when and where the best use of their roles would be. Each ranger works part time, and is paid $23.53 an hour. There are expected to be two rangers on patrol per shift — one overseeing the west side of town, and the other the east. Their shifts run from Thursday to Sunday.

The park rangers operate under the supervision of the town’s public safety department.

Joe Rose, director of public safety, also said the community received the rangers very well in the opening weekend.

“Multiple people stopped them throughout their shifts to bring [up] their concerns,” Rose said in a phone interview. “It was rewarding to see the response from the public.”

Rose said an added benefit of park rangers is that it cuts down on time with handling a crime in action. Park rangers are able to act without having to call the Suffolk County Police Department first, and can issue tickets and make arrests on their own.

Huntington has experienced violent crimes in some parks.

On Aug. 20, an 18-year-old’s body was found with lacerations in Greenlawn Park. A man was walking through the town early that morning and discovered the body. In 2013, the body of a young woman was found in the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve, which borders Huntington Station.

Many other towns on Long Island use systems like this, including Smithtown, which has a park ranger division comprised of “law enforcement personnel” who “enforce town codes, parks rules and regulations, as well as state and federal laws,” according to the Town of Smithtown website.

Carter said the final details of this program will be locked down in the coming weeks.

Tyrone Stevens was arrested for multiple burglaries. Photo from SCPD
Tyrone Stevens was arrested for multiple burglaries. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police have arrested a man for burglarizing two salons in Huntington Station on Aug 22.

2nd Precinct Officers Jeffrey Damo and Vincent Dilluvio said they saw broken glass at Hilda’s Hair Salon, located on New York Ave., in Huntington Station just before 11:40 p.m. While investigating the incident, the officers heard glass breaking at Candy Town Nail Salon, also on New York Ave., and when they arrived, they found Tyrone Stevens, 55, inside the building and arrested him at approximately 11:45 p.m.

Stevens, of Huntington Station, was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and possession of burglars tools. He is being held overnight at the 2nd  Precinct and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Aug. 24.



Huntington Manor firefighters work to put quell the flames on a car fire at the South Huntington Library parking lot. photo by Steve Silverman.
Huntington Manor firefighters work to put quell the flames on a car fire at the South Huntington Library parking lot. photo by Steve Silverman.
Huntington Manor firefighters work to put quell the flames on a car fire at the South Huntington Library parking lot. photo by Steve Silverman.

The Huntington Manor Fire Department responded to a car fire in the parking lot of the South Huntington Library on Pidgeon Hill Road Sunday night, Aug. 21.

The fire department got to the scene at about 9:10 p.m. and used two fire engines to quickly extinguish the fire in the BMW Sedan, under the command of Assistant Chiefs Mike DePasquale, Jon Hoffmann and Chuck Brady. There were no injuries reported, but the car was destroyed in the flames.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating a single-vehicle crash that critically injured a man in Fort Salonga on Friday morning, Aug. 18

Samuel Luby, a Northport resident, was driving a 2016 Dodge pickup west on Fort Salonga Road at 7:55 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree just west of Makamah Road. The Northport Fire Department responded to the scene, and said upon arrival they found Luby pinned in the vehicle by the dashboard and steering wheel.

Under the command of Chief of Department Brad Wine, EMS personnel immediately initiated life saving measures while firefighters joined by two Suffolk County Emergency Service police officers began the rescue effort. Utilizing multiple extrication tools, the truck was cut apart to allow access to the driver. With the process complete, EMS personnel stabilized the driver to prevent further injury by movement.

Luby was moved to an awaiting Northport Fire Department ambulance, and then airlifted via Suffolk County Police helicopter in critical condition to Stony Brook University Hospital.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

Donald Gennarelli was charged with 14 counts of larceny, once at a McDonald's on Route 25A in Miller Place. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police today arrested Donald Gennarelli for committing multiple larcenies from 14 Suffolk County stores over the past two months.

Officers from the 3rd Precinct Crime Section initiated an investigation to multiple larcenies occurring within the area, and discovered that similar larcenies had occurred in other precincts.

The suspect would engage the teller and appear to purchase a product, and when the teller opened the register he would jump over the counter and take money.

Detectives from the Major Case United were assigned to the investigation, and the joint investigation resulted in 3rd Precinct Crime Section Officers Joseph Passantino, and Matthew Fernandez arresting Gennarelli in Islip on Aug. 17.

Gennarelli was charged with larcenies from the following businesses:

  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 411 Furrows Road, Holbrook, June 16.
  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 19 Bay Shore Road, Bay Shore on June 18.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 280 Sunrise Highway, North Lindenhurst on July 1.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 155 Sunrise Highway Lindenhurst on July 4.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 529 East Main Street, Bay Shore on July 5.
  • CVS located at 15 West Main Street, East Islip on July 6.
  • 7-11 located at 500 Islip Avenue, Islip, on July 9.
  • Dunkin Donuts located at 13 West Main Street, East Islip, on July 11.
  • McDonald’s, located at 4498 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale on July 12.
  • Dunkin Donuts, located at 13 West Main Street, East Islip on July 18.
  • 7-11 located at 4506 Sunrise Highway, Oakdale on July 25.
  • CVS located at 1944 Deer Park Avenue, Deer Park, on July 27.
  • Subway located at 1105 Horseblock Road, Medford on August 1.
  • McDonald’s, located at 340 Route 25A Miller Place on August 2.

The suspect was charged with 14 counts of petit larceny and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle. He was held overnight at the 3rd Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned today at First District Court in Central Islip.

The investigation is ongoing.

Suffolk County Police arrested Patel Sanjaykumar for selling alcohol to a minor in Centereach on Aug. 17.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers received tips of alcohol being sold to minors at the Mobil gas station, located at 2033 Middle Country Road. Sixth Precinct Crime Control, working with an underage agent, conducted a check of the business in accordance with the New York State Liquor Authority. The employee, Sanjaykumar, sold an alcoholic beverage to the underage agent and was arrested.

Sanjaykumar, 28, of Babylon was charged with sale to a minor and issued a field appearance ticket for arraignment at a later date.

Two German shepherds are joining the force.

15-month-old Dallas V and 19-month-old Maverick, who were bred in Europe, have been training with the Suffolk County Police Department for one month and are close to graduation.

The two new patrol dogs are expected to complete training in November, which covers criminal apprehension, evidence recovery, obedience and tracking. These new additions to the team were announced recently at a press conference held at the Suffolk County Police Department Headquarters in Yaphank.

Drug busts are becoming more common in Suffolk County. Above, drugs and other items seized during one such bust. File photo

It is no secret that Suffolk County, New York State and the United States as a whole have a rapidly growing opioid, and especially, heroin problem on their hands. Suffolk County is frequently sited as one of the places in New York most susceptible to drug busts and overdoses. It is a complex problem that sometimes feels like plugging holes in a sinking ship with bubble gum to lawmakers and uniformed police officers charged with lessening the impact of drugs on the community.

To the Suffolk County Police Department’s credit, they haven’t shied away from trying some outside the box methods to combat heroin and opioid addiction. In April, Suffolk County Crime Stoppers launched an anonymous narcotics tip phone line to help enlist the community in rooting out drug users and sellers in their vicinity.

The tip line helped lead to the arrest, in June, of two brothers living in Mount Sinai who had a treasure trove of weaponry, bomb-making instructions, cash and drugs in their home. In July, 24 people were arrested in connection with a drug ring in Hauppauge that yielded four kilograms of heroin and fentanyl.

The success of the hotline, which has received more than 900 calls since its inception, proves that the onus is on all of us to do our part in alleviating our community’s drug problem.

The department hosted a benefit concert at The Emporium in Patchogue July 28 to raise money for rewards given to those who provide tips to the hotline that result in arrests, and it’s imperative that we continue to support this resource as it has already proven its worth. That’s not to say that without the reward money, you shouldn’t say something if you see something. Community members hold most of the power in their hands to help our officers in cleaning up our streets.

Until we as a community recognize that this is a problem for everyone, even if the overdosing teen down the street isn’t a family member, the bubble gum approach will not stop the ship from sinking.