Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, Assemblyman Dave McDonough, officers from the Nassau County Police Department, and members of the Califano family today held a ceremony to dedicate the “Police Officer Michael J. Califano Memorial Bridge” in memory of Nassau County Police Officer Michael Califano, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year.
Senator Fuschillo and Assemblywoman Schimel authored a law, cosponsored by Assemblyman McDonough, renaming the Glen Cove Road bridge overpass which crosses over the Long Island Expressway the “Police Officer Michael J. Califano Memorial Bridge.” The law was passed by both the Senate and Assembly in June and signed by Governor Cuomo in August. The bridge, located in Old Westbury, is near the site where Officer Califano was killed.
“Michael Califano was a devoted police officer and a loving family man who always went above and beyond to help others whether he knew them or not. We must never, ever forget the ultimate sacrifice he made for the people of Nassau County. Renaming this bridge in Officer Califano’s honor will help ensure that his legacy of service and heroism will always be remembered,” said Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick).
"By naming the bridge, we honor the memory of police officer Michael Califano and in a small measure thank his family for his dedication and service," said Assemblywoman Schimel (D-Great Neck).
“I am pleased to have been part of the initiative and cosponsor this measure making this tribute to Officer Michael Califano a reality. Memorializing Officer Califano through this tribute will ensure that the people of Nassau County never forget his dedication to our communities,” said Assemblyman McDonough (R-North Merrick).
Officer Califano, a twelve year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, died tragically in the line of duty on February 4, 2011 while performing a routine traffic stop. He was killed when his patrol car, which was stopped on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway with its lights flashing, was hit from behind by a flat bed truck. The driver of the truck was allegedly asleep at the wheel and subsequently arrested on charges including criminally negligent homicide.
Approximately 100 members of Officer Califano’s family, including his wife Jackie and three sons Michael, Christopher, and Andrew, attended the ceremony, as did over 100 members of the Nassau County Police Department. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano also attended the ceremony.
“Our brother Police Officer Michael Califano was a devoted and dedicated officer who served our Department and County with honor. We made a vow that his ultimate sacrifice and service would never be forgotten. Renaming this bridge in his memory will help honor that commitment. On behalf of all the members of the Nassau County Police Department, we thank Senator Fuschillo, Assemblywoman Schimel, and Assemblyman McDonough for their efforts to make this tribute to Officer Califano a reality,” said Peter Paterson, First Vice President of the Nassau County PBA.
Senator Fuschillo (right) is pictured with Michael Califano, Officer Califano's oldest son, in unveiling a replica of the sign memorializing the Police Officer Michael Califano Memorial Bridge.