The Village of Cedarhurst's newest volunteer unit


Known as an extra set of eyes and ears, Auxiliary Unit 109, a group of more than 30 volunteers for the Nassau County Police Department’s 4th Precinct in Hewlett, is dedicated to ensuring extra protection for neighbors in the Five Towns and Atlantic Beach.

But when Cedarhurst Mayor Benjamin Weinstock announced that the village would have its own volunteer unit, Danny Gluck, commanding officer of the county auxiliary police department’s 4th Precinct unit and a 25-year-veteran of Unit 109, said it was a “slap in the face.”

“For years, the mayor only praised us for all of our hard work and dedication to his village,” Gluck said. “Yet he went behind our backs.”

For over 20 years, the volunteers of Unit 109 patrolled Cedarhurst, the village where Gluck said the unit had spent 75 percent of its time.

“We are volunteers who dedicate our free time to keep our community safe, leaving our families on nights and weekends to patrol the streets and cover any details when needed,” Gluck said. “Whether it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., we’re always there to assist and be the community’s eyes and ears.”

At a Cedarhurst village board meeting on May 1, Weinstock promoted the creation of the village’s new volunteer police auxiliary unit, Unit 101.

Weinstock previously said that the new unit was not a replacement for Unit 109, but rather an additional auxiliary squad, and he hoped that 109 would continue to patrol the village. But Gluck and his unit have not patrolled Cedarhurst since Unit 101 began working after Passover.

“Had he approached me with open dialogue — or any dialogue, for that matter — there could have been various options discussed,” Gluck said. “However, this did not occur, nor did the suggestion that my unit was always meant to be ‘in addition’ to his new unit.”

Weinstock recently told the Herald that he had no intention of replacing Unit 109. “We did not throw Danny out,” Weinstock said. “To my knowledge, nobody else communicated that.”

As of press time, Cedarhurst’s Unit 101 has two active officers — members of the county police department — and is looking to recruit additional personnel.

Shari Zagorski, a lieutenant in the county’s auxiliary police department, is the commanding officer of the unit. Zagorski has devoted 1,000 hours to volunteering with Unit 109. Anthony Squiciarino, another lieutenant, has over 20 years of auxiliary police experience.

“We’re not paying any of the officers’ salaries ... because it’s a volunteer unit,” Weinstock said. “The cost to the village is the insurance, the gasoline for the police cars and maintenance on cars.” Those expenses, he explained, were included in the village’s 2023-24 general budget, adopted earlier this month.

The village currently has two police cars, and Weinstock said that it signed a purchase order for supplies such as first aid kits, construction cones, road flares and other items.

David Spier, of Cedarhurst, a retired lieutenant in Unit 109, said he wrote a letter to Weinstock expressing his concerns about the new unit.

“I think it’s a sad situation,” Spier said, “when instead of talking about how we can help the community and what we can do to grow, we’re instead talking about ... politics and hurt feelings.”


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