Friday, 30 September 2011 00:00
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and the Hempstead Board honored Garden City Police Officer Matthew Walsh, who was among the 25 officers from surrounding departments at a ceremony, on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the Nathan L.H. Bennett Pavilion at the Town Hall in Hempstead.
Father Gerard Gordon, the Nassau County Police Chaplain, provided a brief invocation, and Alyse Skoller, accompanied by Gloria Elliot, performed the National Anthem. The Nassau County Police Color Guard Unit retired the colors before each of the 25 officers were honored with medals and certificates.
“From solving murders and extensive undercover work to patrolling our streets, our police honorees have distinguished themselves as local heroes,” said Kate Murray. “The town is proud to have the opportunity to recognize those who serve and protect our residents.” Murray acknowledged many local officials, friends and families of the officers, their peers and supervisors who were in attendance.
Murray said, “You’ve seen it in action movies a thousand times over: the good guy chases after the bad guy, putting himself or herself in danger and overcoming impossible odds to save the day. It makes for a great film, but for Garden City Police Officer Matthew Walsh, it’s just a normal day.
“On February 22 at 10:50 a.m., Officer Walsh was on routine patrol in Garden City when he saw a male subject running north from TD Bank. His suspicions were aroused as he saw a woman locked out of the bank and a man, seemingly out of breath, pointing in the direction of the suspicious individual.
“Walsh was following the man in his police cruiser, when he received a report that the TD Bank had just been robbed.
“Seeing the suspect approach a heavily populated section of the village, Officer Walsh immediately feared for the safety of local residents. With no time to wait for backup, Officer Walsh exited his vehicle and chased the subject across four lanes of traffic as cars whizzed by him. When he caught up to the subject, a fight ensued. Officer Walsh wrestled with the subject, preventing him from grabbing a weapon.
“Because this dramatic scene unfolded in the middle of heavy traffic, in a densely populated section of town, Officer Walsh single-handedly protected civilians from harm at the hands of a violent criminal.”
The officers were honored for putting their lives on the line, pursuing criminals, maintaining order and facilitating rescues in crisis situations. To conclude the 14th annual Police Service Awards ceremonies, Father Gerard Gordon gave the benediction.
Murray said, “I would like to thank the men and women in police service in Hempstead Town. These enforcement professionals make significant sacrifices every day to maintain our superlative quality of life and ensure the safety of all residents.”