Former NYPD sergeant Ronald Buell of Kings Park was sentenced to 3 years probation and spared prison in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday for taking bribes to provide confidential police information to a private detective.

Buell, 49, pleaded guilty to taking $9,000 from defense investigator Joseph Dwyer, of Shoreham, a former cop and longtime friend, to supply information about witnesses in cases. Dwyer was also sentenced to probation.

Federal sentencing guidelines called for Buell to get 12 to 18 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said he “crossed a line” and engaged in a breach of trust, but deserved a break because of his 27 years of public service as a decorated cop.

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She imposed sentence after Buell lamented his decision to sell information and apologized to his family.

“I keep reliving the decision I made so many years ago,” he told the judge. “I should have said, ‘No.’ I knew that was the right thing to do.”