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Popular 68th Pct. Sergeant Retires After 22 Years

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It was a bittersweet occasion as members of the 68th Precinct had the opportunity to say a fond farewell to one of their own, Sergeant Anthony Donadio, a 22-year veteran of the New York Police Department, who was honored on his retirement.At the station house, 333 65th Street, fellow officers chowed down on sandwiches and salads after a familiar ritual – Donadio performed a final roll call, as he began his last tour of duty, and was lauded by colleagues and local officials for his professionalism and dedication.“You spent 16 of your 22 years (on the force) at this precinct,” remarked City Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who presented Donadio with a certificate honoring his retirement. “You have to be good to spend so long in this precinct.”State Senator Marty Golden, himself a former police officer, noted, “It’s not easy to stand up and retire after 22 years, a majority of your life donated to something special that you really cared about. If you needed to get something accomplished in the 68th Precinct, this was the guy to get it done. He is a cop’s cop. He did an outstanding job, as did the team he worked with, and you never knew what they’d come in with – a 9 mm, an Uzi, kilos of cocaine. These were things people didn’t think were in the precinct, but Sergeant Donadio knew they were, and went and got them. Nobody did it better.”Deputy Inspector William Aubry, the precinct’s commanding officer, said that Donadio had made his job easier. “When I got here, two years ago, I didn’t know how to handle certain situations,” he recalled. “When I didn’t,. you were always there for me, and you helped not only me but the people in the command and the borough.”To commemorate Donadio’s efforts, as well as the efforts of all the officers who have served in the 68th Precinct throughout the year 2005, Aubry then unveiled a plaque that will hang in the precinct which lists all of the precinct’s officers for that year. The plaque, he said, will serve as an ongoing reminder “To commemorate all the hard work you guys have done for the command and the community.”Father Robert Romano, a police chaplain who is the pastor of St. Bernadette’s Roman Catholic Church in Dyker Heights, recalled that, “The first time I met Tony was when I had a problem in the parish. Someone had stolen a set of keys. He got the keys back. He also got the kid who had the keys, which was a big help. Tony was always there any time I’ve needed him. For 22 years, we’ve been very lucky in the department, and for 16 years we’ve been very lucky in this command.”As for Donadio, he told the officers present, “Do not wish away your career. Trust me when I tell you the years will fly by. Savor the good times and learn from the bad. Take care of your partner. Take care of your squad. Take care of each other. Treat the NYPD as your extended family. This will make for a better job and a better cop.“Lastly, remember this,” an emotional Donadio continued, “Having 22 years on the job, my experience has been that there are two kinds of cops – NYPD officers and all other law enforcement officers who wishes they were NYPD. Other police departments use the NYPD ‘bar’ as a standard for achievement.”Why such a valedictory? “I think we’ve lost sight of the way the job is,” he commented, after the ceremony had concluded. “It’s become more like a business. Years ago, it was more like a family.” The police force, Donadio added, has become adept at accomplishing more with less. “The city’s a safer place, but it’s tough,” he remarked.Donadio began his career in 1984. He spent most of his time on the job in Brooklyn South, and has been attached to the 68th Precinct since 1992. He lives in Staten Island with his wife, Kathy, and his three children, Jacqueline, Kristen and Paul. He had decided to retire, he said, because it was, “Time for a change.”

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