Brothers In Arms

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A portion of the hundreds of first responders that turned out for the law-enforcement rally
A portion of the hundreds of first responders that turned out for the law-enforcement rally

Firefighters rally for law enforcement

The crowd of law enforcement representatives, firefighters, EMS personnel and veterans roared its approval at the Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow as County Executive Ed Mangano proclaimed, “Target our citizens, target our police and you’re going home in a body bag.”

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the park on July 24 in support of law enforcement for an event organized by Stewart Manor Fire Department First Deputy Chief Thomas Skinner, who said the recent targeting of police officers throughout the country spurred him into action.

Cops_080316A“I was watching the Baton Rouge police get shot and I just went to work,” he said, adding that the First Battalion chiefs, along with Mangano’s office, were behind him from the start. “I felt everyone would support this. But I didn’t realize it was going to get so big so fast. The real thing was that we had it happen fast because two weeks after these cops get shot, everyone forgets. I wanted it done the week of the tragedies of Baton Rouge and Dallas and the other 10 officers the mainstream media doesn’t report on that got shot on 911 calls.”

Attendees listening as ex-Floral Park Chief/President of Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior Joseph O’Grady spoke
Attendees listening as ex-Floral Park Chief/President of Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior Joseph O’Grady spoke

In total, 68 of Nassau County’s 70 fire departments attended the event, along with a robust representation of law enforcement, EMTs, war veterans and more. About 200 fire apparatus lined each side of Park Boulevard, which splits the park, acting as a red line leading to the theater.

Law enforcement rally honor guard
Law enforcement rally honor guard

Among the attendees were Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter and Senator Jack M. Martins, who backed up Mangano’s statement that Nassau County has the backs of its law enforcement.

Law enforcement rally attendees standing at attention
Law enforcement rally attendees standing at attention

“Police officers are willing to give their lives to save ours and keep our families safe,” Martins said. “We can never take that for granted, nor can we ever say ‘thank you’ enough. The firefighters did an extraordinary job organizing this event and showing our collective appreciation to the men and women who keep our communities safe.”

As the ceremony closed, Mangano thanked the county’s Bravest for supporting its Finest.

“With all the tragedies that have befallen our country recently, our police officers are the first line in maintaining order, safety and security,” he said. “Now, more than ever, they need our support so that they can continue to protect Nassau’s residents to the best of their abilities.”

—Additional reporting by Dave Gil de Rubio

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Steve Mosco is the senior managing editor at Anton Media Group, editor of Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald and a columnist for Long Island Weekly's food and sports sections.

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