Members of the New York City Police Department never know what they’ll encounter with every assignment. That’s what makes the job so unique and dangerous.
That was certainly on display as the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Staten Island Advance recognized 31 officers during the annual Police Officer of the Year Luncheon at The Vanderbilt at South Beach. This year’s event was sponsored by BCB Bank, Gerald Peters Inc., Richmond University Medical Center, and Sottile Security International, Inc.
As the Police Officer of the Month honorees were honored, their heroic recaps were read aloud to the over 360 people in attendance.
Whether it was performing CPR to save a 7-year-old suffering a severe asthma attack or thwarting attempted burglaries into Staten Island businesses that were closed for the night or saving an immobile woman from a burning building, the stories were all different.
NYC Police Commissioner James. P. O’Neill was the keynote speaker and saluted the contingent for their hard work and dedication 365 times a year.
“These stories are 100% true. You’ll hear stories about how they keep the city safe,” he said. “These are extremely difficult jobs, and we’ve been doing it for a really long time. All the work you do is hard.
“We have to do everything. It’s not just about fighting crime. It’s about keeping people safe,” O’Neill added.
The Chamber’s Safety and Security Committee reviewed the monthly recipients and selected the winners of the prestigious Police Officer of the Year Award. This year’s committee selected Lt. Matthew Harrison and Police Officer Giancarlo Maratea for maintaining their composure during a shooting incident in March 2018. During the incident, a perpetrator pointed a gun at the officers and the duo fired five shots, hitting the woman in the shoulder. They were able to eventually arrest the woman and recover the firearm without any further incidents.
The co-chairmen of the event were Gerald Amerosi Sr. (Gerald Peters Inc.) and Salvatore Sottile (Sottile Security International, Inc.). This year’s Safety and Security Committee was comprised by: William Amaniera (Richmond University Medical Center), Amerosi Sr, Andrew Blay (People’s United Bank), Mark Giacalone (IDB Bank), David Goodwin (Staten Island University Hospital), Thomas Mauro (Metro One Loss Prevention Services Group), Ricci Merendino (BCB Bank), Mike Montalbano (TeamLogic IT), Dan Ryan (Staten Island Advance), Sottile, and Isaac Zahavi (Victory State Bank).
Assemblyman Michael Reilly attended the Luncheon while certificates were presented to the honorees from the offices of Congressman Max Rose, Assemblyman Reilly, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, Assemblyman Charles Fall, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, and District Attorney Michael McMahon.
This year’s honorees were:
- January 2018: Police Officer Alyssa Fazio, 123rd Precinct
- February 2018: Police Officers Derek Pinto and Jeffrey Mills, 120th Precinct
- March 2018: Lieutenant Matthew Harrison and Police Officer Giancarlo Maratea, 120th Precinct
- April 2018: Police Officers Melinda Andrade, Anthony Catania, William Dawson, and Michael Gheller, 120th Precinct
- May 2018: Police Officers Corinne Mueller and Red Leber, 122nd Precinct
- June 2018: Police Officers Aldo Yubini and Christopher McKenna, 122nd Precinct
- July 2018: Sergeant Thomas Ulitto, Police Officers Joseph Bruno and Frank Desiderato, 120th Precinct
- August 2018: Police Officers Frank Vega Jr. and Matthew Panik, 120th Precinct
- September 2018: Police Officer Michael Devito, Patrol Borough Staten Island’s Auto Larceny Unit
- October 2018: Sergeant William Gavigan, Police Officers Lee Wittek, Stephanie Mazza, Aldo Yubini, and Christopher McKenna, 122nd Precinct
- November 2018: Sergeant Richard Guerrieri, Police Officers Nicholas Podaras, David Kosinski, Ricardo Cuenca, Michael McCabe, Mirel Hoxha, and Jason Leung, 122nd Precinct
- December 2018: Police Officers Iryna Timofeeva and Michal Drozd, 120th Precinct