1990's - Today

Police Commissioner Benjamin Kilichowski retired in 1990 and was succeeded by Commissioner Paul Wetterau who was promoted from the rank of Lieutenant. The composition of the department had changed considerably during this era as many of the officers that had served the Department for decades had retired prompting the Village to hire many new police officers, including the swearing in of ten new officers in August, 1989. Overall, in a four year period between 1987 and 1991 the Department had hired seventeen new police officers with the patrol force being maintained steadily at twenty-seven members holding the rank of Police Officer.

Police Commissioner Wetterau retired in 1992 and was succeeded nearly a year later by Police Commissioner Michael Reid, who was promoted from the rank of Sergeant in 1993. By the 1990's Police Headquarters, which had remained relatively unchanged since 1936, had become outmoded and there was a significant need for an upgrade of our facilities. The decision was made to renovate the entire first floor of the western section of the Village Hall into a modern Police and Court complex. Much of this space, that had originally been the Village Library, was left vacant by Department of Public Works after they moved into their new facility a few years earlier. In 1995 the Department moved its operations to a temporary headquarters located at 9 Vernon Street, across the street from the Fire Department Headquarters. The new Police Headquarters was dedicated in December, 1996, and the Police Department could now be accessed by a front door facing Carlton Street.

Throughout the 1990's, crime rates began to plummet nationwide with the most significant decreases seen in New York City. Floral Park also observed significant decreases in criminal activity. In 1998, the Floral Park Police Department responded to 5,501 calls for service, of these, there were 314 criminal cases reported, including 218 larcenies, 21 auto larcenies, 38 burglaries, and 10 robberies reported to the police. There were 107 arrests made that year, and police responded to 254 motor vehicle accidents and issued 2,104 summonses for violations of traffic law.

The Department introduced the first data-processing computers to maintain its records and phased out the "Form 4" index cards it had used for decades. Laser based (LIDAR) units were introduced for speed enforcement, bicycle units were introduced, and the FPPD briefly experimented with the use of electric GEM vehicles that had been donated to the police department by the manufacturer. In 2005. The Department secured funding and purchased a Speed Monitoring Awareness Trailer (SMART) speed-sign device, designed to promote compliance with the 30-mph village speed limit (20-mph in school zones) by giving motorists a reminder to slow down. Laptop computers were installed in police vehicles to give officers access to motorist driving records, and retrieve and transmit data to police headquarters remotely, without radio assistance from the dispatcher. Police officers also began working a steady twelve-hour tour schedule, abandoning the weekly rotating eight-hour tour schedule that had been recognized for some time as less conducive to the health and well-being of the police officers required to work such schedule.

One of the most significant events that forever changed the nature of policing, obviously, was the attacks that transpired on September 11, 2001. Locally smoke could be seen bellowing from lower Manhattan, looking westward from the vicinity of Floral Park Memorial High School. Word spread throughout the Village of residents, friends and families forever affected by this horrific act. Belmont Park was secured as a staging area for emergency vehicles and the area surrounding the racetrack, as well as all local highways, were closed to non-emergency vehicles. Traffic was redirected through the Village, and by nightfall an eerie silence enveloped the area as air-traffic was grounded, broken only by the occasional sound of a fighter jet on patrol. The smell of smoke filled the air as fires continued to rage at the World Trade Center. After the initial shock of the day decreased, members of the department assisted with recovery operations at Ground Zero, took missing persons reports from the devastated families, and attended funerals for village residents, and emergency service workers throughout the area. Coordination and training between Federal, State, and local agencies was evaluated and improved, as security measures were heightened nationally to prevent a similar heinous act from happening again.

Police Commissioner Reid was succeeded by Police Commissioner Stephen McAllister in 2010. Commissioner McAllister, a retired New York City Police Inspector, was selected after applications were received by members from outside police agencies, a shift in policy that was permitted by a change in Village Code enacted in 2000.

Throughout the initial years of the new millennium, crime continued its downward trend. By 2011, criminal cases were reduced to 251, which included a mere 41 larcenies, 6 auto larcenies, 10 burglaries, and 5 robberies. Youth related acts of criminal mischief and graffiti reported to the police has significantly decreased since highs reported in the early 1990's that exceeded 200 reports, to 75 such acts reported in 2011. The Floral Park Police Department continues to maintain programs that keep crime rates low and ensures the safety and security of residents, businesses, and visitors, while looking for innovative techniques that will uphold these standards as the Village of Floral Park moves into the future.

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