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police & fire

Clarkstown Chief: Police Just Ordinary Folks Doing Extraordinary Things

The speech in this video was given by Chief Sullivan at the Clarkstown Police Department's annual award ceremony on May 22, 2016. Sullivan praises the hard work that the men and women of law enforcement do every day to protect and serve.
The speech in this video was given by Chief Sullivan at the Clarkstown Police Department's annual award ceremony on May 22, 2016. Sullivan praises the hard work that the men and women of law enforcement do every day to protect and serve. Video Credit: Clarkstown Police Department

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Things have changed radically since Clarkstown police Chief Michael Sullivan first became a cop, he told fellow officers at a recent awards ceremony.

For one, policing technology was simple at best.

“We were given a gun, a stick, a large portable radio that didn’t work, and a pocket full of quarters for the nearest available pay phone,” Sullivan said.

Now police officers carry devices that detect nuclear materials or are used to shock people’s hearts into starting.

Training has become more complex, especially for “active shooter” incidents and acts of terrorism, which used to be something that happened overseas, and not in local malls, schools, churches, and nightclubs, Sullivan said.

Referencing tragedies like Sandy Hook and the Boston marathon, Sullivan said first responders are not “Delta Force, Navy Seals, or FBI agents,” they are local police, fire and emergency personnel.

They are, he added “ordinary men and women doing their best in an anything but ordinary situation.”

Never before has so much been asked of law enforcement, or has training been more important, or the conditions more difficult, the police chief said.

Sullivan concluded his May 22 speech, which has been posted as a video on YouTube, with “one simple, irrevocable truth.”

“If you are in trouble, we will come to help. If you are in danger, we will come to save you and, if required, we will lay down our lives for you.”

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