Rockville Centre's American Legion honors first responders


Members of Rockville Centre’s American Legion Post 303 honored several local first responders during its 10th annual Law and Order Awards.

The Oct. 19 ceremony honored Charles Gennario, former commissioner of the Rockville Centre Police Department; Inspector Kenneth Schaefer; Tom Cook, honorary chief of the Rockville Centre Fire Department’s Reliance Hose Company No. 3; and Barry McCarthy, honorary chief from Engine Company No. 2.

The police officers and firefighters were selected by their own departments, “for their outstanding service towards the community selected the men,” according to Post Commander Frank Colon. “That’s what the Law and Order [Awards] are about,” he added.

Gennario, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, was given an M4 carbine assault rifle as an award, while DeLuca was given a .45-caliber Colt pistol. Cook and McCarthy were given trophies resembling the nozzle of a firefighter’s hose.

The Legion’s yearly ceremony is a tradition conducted at other American Legions across the country. While Nassau County has 52 posts, not all hold an event of this kind honoring first responders.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to conduct this ceremony and program to show our gratitude to these people working 24/7,” Colon said, “365 days a year.”

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story did not include Kenneth Schaefer and wrongly stated that Nicholas DeLuca was honored.