Eli Ruiz | Democrat
Retired Monticello Detective Douglas Tunno, right, listens as former Monticello PD Chief Doug Solomon, holding microphone, sings his praises at last Saturday’s Monticello Elks ceremony honoring retiring law enforcement personnel. At left is Sullivan County District Attorney Jim Farrell, with the evening’s emcee, lawyer and former Assistant DA Phil Conaty, second from left.
Elks honor retiring
By Eli Ruiz
MONTICELLO A who’s who of the local law enforcement community gathered Saturday evening as the Monticello Elks held their annual Law Enforcement Recognition Dinner to honor 16 retirees representing four different local law enforcement agencies.
Getting the lion’s share of attention was retired New York State Police Senior Investigator Terrence F. Mullen now an investigator with the Sullivan County District Attorney’s office.
On hand were county DA Jim Farrell, his predecessor Stephen F. Lungen, former Monticello Mayor Jim Barnicle, Sullivan County Sheriff Mike Schiff and Undersheriff Eric Chaboty.
Master of Ceremonies was former Assistant District Attorney and Monticello Elks Board Chairman Phil Conaty, who talked briefly about the Elks and touched on the organization’s national youth and veteran’s initiatives.
“We’re also big on Americanism and patriotism, and Americanism is why we’re here tonight and on a yearly basis at this lodge,” said Conaty. “We laud the law enforcement people here in our community who do so much to serve and protect us… they deserve our respect, admiration and gratitude.”
Lungen gave an impromptu speech, noting, “I would like to speak, as a former DA, about what cops do… cops do things that the public cannot appreciate until they become the victims of crime. They put their lives on the line and unless you’ve been in a situation where your life is on the line, you have no idea the kind of stress and strain that that puts on you… pulling a car over in the middle of the night just for a traffic stop seems like no big deal to people, but you have no idea what kind of weapons these people are possibly carrying, no idea where they’re coming from or what they’re doing.”
Of the night’s chief honoree Lungen said, “I worked a lot of homicide cases with Terry Mullen and he’s probably one of the finest police officers to ever come through our region… we need to be very grateful for all the work he’s done, because he does all the things they do on CSI, but what they do is bull, and what he did was the real thing. He’s a great honoree and deserves all the accolades he gets.”
Sheriff Schiff introduced the Sheriff’s Office honorees and talked about the evening’s only non-retiring officer to be recognized, Road Patrol Sergeant Cheryl Crumley, who has been with the Family Violence Task Force, Youth Office and is a School Resource and DARE Officer among other assignments. She recently became the first woman in the history of the Sheriff’s Office to reach the rank of Sergeant with the Road Patrol.
“Cheryl has taken-on every single task we’ve put before her… she has never once shirked a task and it’s a pleasure to see someone like Cheryl be the first female Sergeant with the Sullivan County Road Patrol,” Schiff said, and went on to lament the loss of the retiring officers.
“I’d like to make the observation that with any police agency . . . the quality of their work is directly correlated to the quality of the people they have on the road, and the loss to this county of the people who are retiring this year… It’s going to be an incredible loss for the law enforcement community, as well as to the citizens of Sullivan County not having these dedicated people out there making us all look good and solving those crimes . . . “
DA Farrell presented the evening’s final honoree and guest of honor, Terrence “Mad-Dog” Mullen. Farrell recalled meeting Mullen at one of his [Farrell’s] first crime scenes and being thrown out by Mullen, even after identifying himself as an ADA. Farrell said of Mullen, “When he’s at a crime scene, he’s all about getting the bad guy and that’s all he’s about.”
Mullen was recognized for his contributions to the people of Sullivan County and New York State and for his achievement in being named a Williams Associate for his expertise in forensic science.
“Terry Mullen has been the guy in the Tri-State area that has been at every major crime scene and he has secured evidence that has put the bad guys away time and time again,” added Farrell.
Mullen thanked the Elks Club and all involved in selecting him for the recognition and said, “I came here 35 years ago and I’ve worked with everyone in this room and its always been very rewarding . . . we all got along and we all backed each other up, I just hope it stays that way from now on. I miss what I did but I’m with a new family now at the DA’s office and I’m happy to help any of you guys out there, I’m always here for you all… good luck and good health to you all.
“Go get your pensions,” added Mullen jokingly.
For more information on the Elks Club and its programs and initiatives go to www.elks.org.
Retiring fellows, they are ...
The other 16 law enforcement officials recognized Saturday evening are as follows:
Monticello Police Dept
Former Chief Doug Solomon, now the Chief of Police for Beacon
Detective Douglas Tunno
Lieutenant William VanHage
Lieutenant Roger Bisland
Detective Luis Feliciano
Officer David Weiner
Officer Kwane DelValle
Liberty Police Department
Former Chief Robert Mir now Chief of Police in Monticello
Lieutenant Charles Barber
New York State Police
Sergeant James Rafferty
Sergeant Raymond Walter
Trooper Greg Brewer
Trooper Barry Falk
Sr. Inv. Terrence Mullen
SC Sheriff’s Office
Detective Sgt Robert Clark
Detective Sgt Don Starner