If you've been to any big community event in New City or elsewhere in Clarkstown over the past 12 years, chances are you've seen Donald Mellon.
He's one of 33 volunteers who serve as auxiliary police officers in the Clarkstown Police Department. At age 86, Mellon is finally retiring as an auxiliary officer, but only after he's given 1,972 hours of service to the community.
Clarkstown police officials say Mellon is just one of many examples of town residents whose volunteer efforts have helped keep the community safe and free up full-time town police officers who might otherwise be tied up for traffic control at events such as festivals, concerts, fireworks shows and parades.
The police department and the Clarkstown Town Board on Tuesday honored the Mellon and all the other auxiliary officers at a Town Hall ceremony in New City. As a group, Lieutenant Robert Donaldson said the town's auxiliary officers, who are not paid and are unarmed, have volunteered 105,121 hours to the community.
"We have just about all walks of life represented in the auxiliary police," said Donaldson, who is the police department's liaison to its auxiliary officers.
Donaldson said auxiliary officers work in the community in professions ranging from dentist and CPA to business owners, decorators and even a hair dresser. A new member, Lenore Congemi, is president of the New City Rotary Club.
While the uniformed auxiliary officers may be best known for their efforts at traffic control and crowd safety at large public events, Donaldson said the auxiliary officers also help keep Clarkstown's streets well lit.
He explained that auxiliary officers take part in operation "Bright Light," in which they travel the town's neighborhoods looking for malfunctioning street lights that need to be repaired. Their reports are passed on to the Clarkstown Highway Department, which in turn works with Orange and Rockland Utilities to have the darkened lights repaired.
"Thank you for your work you do with the police department and thank you for your commitment to the community," Clarkstown town Supervisor Alexander Gromack told the auxiliary officers gathered for Tuesday's ceremony.
Here's the roster of Clarkstown's auxiliary police officers and the hours they've served the community since joining the program:
Captain Jason Lukasiewicz, 4,873 hours since February 1988.
Lieutenant Darryl Draper, 4,145 hours since May 1998
Sergeant Mark Dorfman, 5,192 hours since May 1999
Barry Elkin, 2,558 hours since February 2003
Tom Krasinski, 1,876 hours since May 1991
Vincent Vitiello, 1,473 hours since August 1999
Anthony Morena, 2,198 hours since May 2005
Chris Kirkland, 691 hours since November 2005
Paul Murray, 768 hours since September 2007
Mathew Martini, 216 hours since April 2009
Trevor McPolin, 58 hours since March 2010
Ray Francis, 87 hours since March 2010
Sergeant Frank Lia, 3,844 hours since December 1999
Allan Goshin, 2,490 hours since February 2003
Mike Mosner, 3,263 hours since September 1992
Joe Caccamo, 1,725 hours since January 1994
Ken Rees, 2,292 hours since May 1998
Donald Mellon, 1,972 hours since May 1998
Hector Ortiz, 1,262 hours since March 2002
Nellie Blacksberg, 1,130 hours since March 2002
Eugene Papkov, 521 hours since September 2007
Kean Chan, 4 hours since March 2010
Mike Bartoli, 4 hours since March 2010
Sergeant Antoinette White, 2,642 hours since June 1999
Ruben Addarich, 1,881 hours since March 2003
George Clapp, 3,410 hours since May 1991
Steve Kress, 1,953 hours since October 1994
Abe Gerstenzang, 1,989 hours since October 2003
Howard Whitman, 1,627 hours since February 2003
Shaji Mathew, 1,151 hours since March 2000
Marc Laverdure, 1,001 hours since November 2002
Paulina Bandremer, 573 hours since February 2007
Steve Richter, 295 hours since September 2008
Rich Bielen, 270 hours since march 2002
So far this year, auxiliary officers have provided 2,144 hours of community service, according to police department statistics.
To become a Clarkstown auxiliary police officer, you must be a Clarkstown resident who is at least 21 years old. To qualify, you must have a clean driver's license and be able to pass a criminal background check. Candidates for the program are required to complete an auxiliary police training program. For more information on the program, call 845-639-5887.