On Tuesday morning, the Town of Smithtown Department of Public Safety welcomed four new officers and recognized the efforts of six department members for outstanding measures within the community. On June 1st, 2021, Supervisor Ed Wehrheim administered the oath of office for the four new members during the swearing-in ceremony which was held on the steps of Smithtown Town Hall at 11am. The ceremony was led by Chief Tom Lohmann. In addition to the swearing in of Park Ranger Christopher Gonzalez, Fire Marshal Anthony Verni, Fire Marshal Kyle McCarthy, and Investigator Brett Bailey, Chief Lohmann presented six current members of the department with awards for their exceptionalism. Deputy Director Catherine Caillat and Chief Fire Marshal Nick Kefalos were presented with Exceptional Service awards. Sergeant Scott Roberts, Bay Constable Daniel Shannon, and Bay Constable David Rosenberg were awarded for Meritorious Service, for the rescue of six fishermen. Bay Constable Michael Grayson was presented with the first ever Peace Officer of the Year Award.
“I want to thank each and every one of you for your service, as you answer the call and undertake the noble path of watching over this great community. I have the utmost faith and confidence in your level of professionalism, your integrity and commitment to serve the people of Smithtown. I believe that you will make this community a better and safer place, and I believe that you will make us all proud. Congratulations, be safe out there and God bless!” – Supervisor Ed Wehrheim
“To our newest hires… congratulations on completing the academy. You did so in different circumstances than most of your peers. I’m not sure how you did DT and PT while social distancing and wearing masks, but you made it work. You’re coming into law enforcement during a difficult time, but you’re lucky to be a part of an agency and a township that supports and loves its law enforcement. I wish you all long, successful, and most importantly safe careers.” – Chief Tom Lohmann
Bay Constable Grayson joined Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, and Councilman Tom Lohmann in presenting the Akerberg Family with a check for $5,744, which was raised during a T-shirt fundraiser to honor Bay Constable Thomas Akerberg. Grayson presented the Akerberg family with a replica of the plaque which is fixed to Bay Constable Thomas Akerberg’s memorial stone, next to a tree, which is planted just outside of the entrance to the Department of Public Safety.
About the Awards:
Deputy Director Catherine Caillat received the Exceptional Service Award for her work spearheading the Zombie Grant Program, which is administered through the New York State Attorney General’s office. Municipalities are tasked with cataloging and inspecting vacant and foreclosed properties throughout the township. Caillat oversees this program in addition to her daily responsibilities.
Chief Fire Marshal Nicholas Kefalos was awarded for his work managing multiple FEMA Disaster Recovery projects. Chief Kefalos has had to manage two major FEMA disasters since his promotion; the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Tropical Storm Isaias, which caused significant damages through the Smithtown Township.
The Meritorious Service Award for a waterway incident rescue was presented to Sergeant Scott Roberts, Bay Constable Daniel Shannon, and Bay Constable David Rosenberg for their fast and brave actions which saved six fishermen off the coast of Cranes Neck in Smithtown Bay. On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Sergeant Roberts, Bay Constable Shannon and Bay Constable Rosenberg all were recalled to the marina from their homes, boarded their patrol vessel and recovered the six individuals, in 30 knot winds and heavy sea conditions.
Bay Constable Michael Grayson was presented with Smithtown’s first ever Peace Officer of the Year award for his leading example, embodying the qualities of a great peace officer and personifying a positive representative of the department. Over the last year, Grayson, a former New York City Detective, organized and managed a T-shirt fundraiser for Bay Constable Thomas Akerberg’s family, in which he raised $5,744. He has taken on a lead role in forming a Department of Public Safety Ceremonial Unit. Bay Constable Grayson was also the recipient of a Departmental Recognition Award for his role in the rescue of two kayakers in distress last July. In addition, Bay Constable Grayson has devoted numerous extra hours throughout the civil unrest and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Note: Peace Officer of the Year will be awarded annually on or around National Peace Officer Memorial Day, to a member of Public Safety who has consistently performed his or her duties with overall excellence throughout the calendar year.