Even when she’s at home, Walz has her Civilian Patrol radio handy. Volunteers let her know when they start and end their shifts, and check in with her routinely during their patrols. “If a half-hour goes by and I don’t hear from them, I call them,” she said. “I worry about them.”
Walz also worries about the future of the organization, which has only about two dozen members, well below its peak of nearly 100 decades ago. Volunteers are asked to commit only two hours per week to the organization, she said. “The Civilian Patrol is one of the easiest things to do,” she said. “It helps to keep our community safe.”
As the organization’s secretary, Walz sends out meeting notices and updates membership rolls, among other duties. A few months back, she attended a meeting of the Valley Stream Council of PTAs and made an appeal for new members.
George Catalanotto, the Civilian Patrol’s treasurer, said he has sought for years to have Walz recognized for all her service to the community. He described her as a person of integrity who is honest, caring and giving, and added that she works tirelessly to achieve the goals of the Civilian Patrol. “Any organization that has her as its member,” Catalanotto said, “and especially if she’s in a leadership position in that organization, is the better for it.”
Walz first got involved with the group in 2000, after her retirement from the Village of Rockville Centre, where she did the billing for the water and electric departments. Decades earlier, she did temp work in the personnel office of the Central High School District and as a secretary at Central and South high schools.
She grew up in Queens, and married her husband, Charles, in 1955. They had two children, Charles Jr., 51, and Alan, 48. Her husband died in the late 1990s, after Walz spent years taking care of him while he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.