Three Lynbrook police officers were promoted and a new hire joined the force at the July 16 meeting of the village’s board of trustees.
Deputy Mayor Hilary Becker and Trustees Mike Hawxhurst, Ann Marie Reardon and Robert Boccio each read excerpts about the officers’ careers before Mayor Alan Beach swore them in.
“This is our family,” Beach said. “The Lynbrook Police Department is our family.”
Brian Paladino was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant, while Sean Haffey advanced to sergeant, Robert Leonard made detective and Jean-Claude James joined the force.
Paladino was born in Jamaica, Queens, and his parents moved the family to Earle Avenue in Lynbrook in 1974. He graduated from Lynbrook High School in 1991 and then earned a degree in history from Queens College in 1996. On Jan. 10, 1997, he joined the LPD and graduated from the Nassau County Police Academy that August. On Oct. 24, 2011, he was promoted to sergeant, and on Feb. 26, 2018, he made lieutenant. He has won many awards over the years, including the Elks Club’s Cop of the Year on two occasions, and serves as vice president of the Lynbrook Police Benevolent Association.
“He is a tremendous asset to the village and we’re really, really lucky to have him,” Boccio said. “We look forward to many future years of service and many more awards to add to this.”
Haffey was born in Brooklyn in 1979 and his family moved to Valley Stream in 1990. He graduated from Central High School in 1997 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on July 7, 1999. After being stationed around the country, he returned to New York in 2005 and opened an insurance business in 2007. On May 26, 2011, he was hired by the LPD and he graduated from the academy that December. He won the county’s Chiefs Award in 2014 and was promoted to sergeant in February. Haffey now resides in Hempstead.
“Sean is another one of our many officers who have military experience,” Hawxhurst said. “We thank him for all he’s done to serve this country and now serving Lynbrook, and it just makes Lynbrook a better place to have officers like Sean serving here.”
Leonard was born in Wantagh and graduated from Wantagh High School in 2003. He attended Stony Brook University on a baseball scholarship, and earned a degree in history in 2007. On Nov. 12, 2007, the New York State Parks Police hired him. He joined the LPD on Jan. 26, 2016, and was promoted to detective in June.
“We do have an absolutely fantastic police force here,” Reardon said. “I know our residents and everyone who comes into this community knows they’re safe, and we know being a detective is not easy, but we thank you for what you do.”
James was born in Guyana, South America in 1991 and his parents moved the family to Long Island shortly after. He was raised in Lindenhurst and decided in kindergarten that he wanted to be a police officer. He graduated from Lindenhurst High School in 2009 and received a degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2013. After college, he worked on Rikers Island for the Department of Corrections, and then joined the NYPD in 2014, where he worked in the 71st Precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He moved to Lynbrook in 2014.
“You guys are the greatest,” Police Chief Joseph Neve said of the four officers. “I hope the residents appreciate what you do, and I know they do.”