Two 111th Precinct officers were honored on Long Island Oct. 14 for their heroism in the line of duty and dedication to the people in their community.
Police Officers Michael Miron and Joseph Buompastore were each given a framed flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol, congressional citations and challenge coins by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Nassau, Suffolk, Queens) last Thursday. The multi-county legislator honored the two NYPD officers, as well as several others from Nassau County, Suffolk County and Glen Cove, in a ceremony thanking them for serving as an example for what the police should be for their community.
“They see the dark underbelly of society on a regular basis, and their job is to try and deal with those difficult situations,” said Suozzi. “Sometimes working as guardians, protectors, sometimes working as enforcers, sometimes working as social workers, sometimes working as emergency respondents, sometimes just being a presence so that people feel more comfortable because they see someone with a uniform, a badge and a gun is there on their behalf.”
The Hometown Heroes ceremony was the second such event hosted annually by Suozzi. He said he was inspired to start the recognition awards to voice his support of law enforcement during the wave of Black Lives Matter protests last year. He said Thursday that it is possible to support police reform without bashing police, and that those lines became too murky last summer.
Miron and Buompastore were chosen as this year’s Hometown Heroes because of the bravery they displayed during two separate events. On May 22, they had responded to a call about a man attempting to climb through a side window of a home while the homeowner was inside. The officers found and apprehended the intruder while he was trying to break into another home nearby.
Several weeks later on Aug. 20, Miron and Buompastore were responding to a burglary at a Dunkin’ Donuts. They arrived to find the front door glass completely shattered and, after entering the coffee shop, found a man behind the counter with a hammer in his hand. They then arrested him without incident.
The heroism, quick response and proper use of police tactics that the two officers displayed in both instances also earned them nominations for the 111th Precinct Cop of the Year Award.
After receiving their awards, the two acted as humbly as one could expect two heroes to react.
“I’m not much for speeches but I really appreciate the honor for both of us. It means a lot to both of us and to our families,” said Buompastore, as Miron waved to his family taking photographs.
Captain John Portalatin, the 111th’s commanding officer, said that Miron and Buompastore are inspiring to their own colleagues in the precinct and often encourage the other officers to be the best versions of themselves when in uniform.
“They make sure everybody does what they have to do to make the 111th Precinct one of the safest in our city,” Portalatin said.