The annual Huntington Awareness Day Parade and Fair kicked off on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. The parade honored a number of local individuals. Ed Brady, longtime commander of the Suffolk County Police Department’s 2nd Precinct who retired earlier this year, served as the event’s grand marshal. Huntington Awareness Day has become an annual tradition, with thousands of people turning out to celebrate the community’s unity, diversity and solidarity.
Retired 2nd Precinct leader to head up Sept. 12 event
The 6th annual Huntington Awareness Day parade will feature longtime commander of the 2nd Precinct as its grand marshal, and will also honor a number of community members from across Huntington Town.
Inspector Edward Brady, who retired earlier this year at the helm of the 2nd Precinct, which serves Huntington, will lead the festivities as the parade’s grand marshal on Saturday, Sept. 12, according to a town statement. Honors will also be bestowed on a police officer wounded in the line of duty, a 101-year-old wartime aircraft worker, a volunteer VA chaplain and two families with longtime contributions to the community.
Those honorees include Suffolk County Police Officer Mark Collins, a 12-year veteran of the force who was shot in the neck and hip in March while chasing a suspected gang member who had fled after a traffic stop in Huntington Station; Sophie Sarro, a 101-year-old Huntington Station native who while trained as a seamstress worked during World War II helping to manufacture airplanes for Grumman Aircraft; and Frank LaBarbara, a Korean War veteran and retired owner of an engineering-manufacturing company who has volunteered for many years as a Eucharistic minister at the Northport VA Medical Center.
Also to be honored are the Harris and Sorrentino families. The Harris patriarch, Rufus Harris, is an accomplished mechanic who overcame segregation in South Carolina, moved to Huntington and founded an automobile repair shop, Rufus & Sons, which was one of the first African-American owned businesses in Huntington. The shop included two generations of the Harris family and was in business for 40 years.
The Sorrentino family has been fixtures on the Huntington business scene for many years. Andrea Sorrentino has operated a shoe repair shop in Huntington village for 35 years and his sons, Pasquale and Andre, own an auto body shop. The have been active in civic and charitable affairs, as well as in the Huntington Fire Department, where Andre Sorrentino is a commissioner.For each of the past five Thanksgivings, the family has given away 300 turkeys to needy families.
Bands, floats, vintage cars, service groups and local merchants will join the march down New York Avenue through Huntington Station from West Hills Road to the municipal parking lot between Railroad and Church streets. The parking lot will also be the location of the annual Awareness Day fair, which will include performances by local artists and booths offering crafts and services. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. and the fair will remain open until 5 p.m.
“We hope that people will come to the parade and stay for the festival, which thanks to the generosity of our sponsors remains a great day of entertainment, free activities for children and a chance to learn about the many organizations offering services to help the community,” said parade founder Dolores Thompson.
Inspector Edward Brady, the precinct's commanding officer, is sent off in style
Suffolk County Police Department’s 2nd Precinct said goodbye to its leader of more than five years on Friday afternoon with a salute and gathering of his friends and family.
Inspector Edward Brady served on the police force for 36 years, joining in October 1979 after graduating from the police academy. He became the commanding officer of the 2nd Precinct in 2009, and served at the helm for approximately five and a half years.
Brady was honored at the Huntington Town Board meeting, on Tuesday, July 14, where he was given a proclamation from Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D), who also attended the salute to Brady on Friday afternoon.
“It was certainly emotional walking out,” he said. “The people I worked with here I have close relations with, some of them for many years. Some of the people here today I was in the police academy with back in ’79, so that’s 36 years of knowing them, of working with them, of going through difficult times with them, so it was emotional but it feels good to see this many people show up.”
3rd Precinct Deputy Inspector Christopher Hatton of Miller Place will take over for Brady.
Suffolk County police Inspector Edward Brady, who touts a 36-year history of service, will hang his hat in retirement on Friday.
The inspector, who has served at the helm of the 2nd Precinct for five and a half years, was honored in style at Tuesday’s town board meeting, which was attended by Brady’s wife, Lori, and many 2nd Precinct and county police officials, including Commissioner Edward Webber.
Town board members praised Brady, including Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D), who issued the inspector a town proclamation for his service — but not before ticking off the inspector’s storied resume.
Edwards said 14 of Brady’s 36 years of service were at the 2nd Precinct. He graduated from the police academy in July 1979 and first joined the 2nd Precinct in October that year. From then on, he moved between precincts and roles, eventually rising to become the 2nd Precinct’s commanding officer in 2009.
Edwards said she was “so, so proud to be honoring” Brady and called him one of a kind.
“Inspector Brady, Supervisor Petrone said it right. You are calm. You are thoughtful, responsive, accessible and very candid.”
The inspector said he’s honored to have served the Town of Huntington.
“The people here really take pride in their community,” he said.
3rd Precinct Deputy Inspector Christopher Hatton, of Miller Place, will take over for Brady post-retirement. He said he’s looking forward to the new role.
“Hopefully I do as good a job as the previous inspector did,” he said.
Asked what’s next for him, Brady said he plans to spend time with his kids, embark on house projects at his home in the Town of Islip and get some golfing in.
“[Suffolk Deputy Chief Kevin Fallon] told me I have to work on my chip shot,” Brady joked.
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