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Town of Hempstead, EGP Land & Sea in Island Park host ‘Back the Blue’ event

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On a sunny, warm night on July 31, residents, police officers and Town of Hempstead officials flocked to EGP Land & Sea in Island Park as part of the “Back the Blue” initiative.

The event was part of “Law Enforcement Officers Weekend” from July 30 to Aug. 2, where local police officers were saluted. It included a free barbecue for the officers, games of cornhole and music.

Attendees included EGP owner Tim O’Hagan, Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, a New York City police detective, who grilled the food for the officers.

“Particularly during this time of growing anti-police sentiment, it is more important than ever to support the men and women of law enforcement,” Clavin said in a statement. “I salute Tim O’Hagan of EGP Land & Sea and Hempstead Town’s own Councilman Anthony D’Esposito for providing free food and entertainment for police officers throughout America’s largest township.”

EGP has hosted several events to salute law enforcement workers, first responders and essential and front-line workers in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. O’Hagan said he was proud to partner with local elected officials “to give back to our police officers and other first responders.”

Law Enforcement Officers Weekend is a nonprofit organization founded by Austin Glickman, who was an NYPD recruit when police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were gunned down in Brooklyn just days before Austin’s police academy graduation. The festivities provide a weekend getaway for law enforcement officers and their families. Honorees this year included Nassau County Police Department Officer George Day, NYPD Det. Brian O’Donnell, Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Officer Peter Siano III and Philadelphia Police Department Officer Jesse Hartnett.

D’Esposito said that as a police officer, he was proud to host the event. “The recent harassment and attacks on police officers are unacceptable,” he said in a statement, “and I am honored to stand in support of my brothers and sisters who make our township a great place in which to live, work and raise a family.”