Letters: Cops, overtime pay and storm duty

Sandra Lee Mott of Riverhead gives a thank

Sandra Lee Mott of Riverhead gives a thank you hug to Mary Roberts of Greenport, who volunteered her time helping The American Red Cross. The American Red Cross had setup a site at the Riverhead City Center for people in need of food and supplies who became victim of Hurricane Sandy. (Nov. 3, 2012) (Credit: Randee Daddona)

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A Red Cross volunteer recently submitted a letter questioning overtime pay for police officers who worked superstorm Sandy . While the writer has every right to his opinion, his letter does not reflect the beliefs of the American Red Cross as an organization.

We, of course, are very proud and grateful for the hard work of our Red Cross volunteers, and we are equally thankful for the support of members of law enforcement who helped us safely move supplies across Long Island and provided security for our shelters.

I am the son of a retired Suffolk County homicide detective and know all too well the dangers law enforcement officers face every day -- not just during times of disaster.

John Miller, Deer Park

Editor's note: The writer is the chief executive of the American Red Cross on Long Island.

I take offense that this writer would criticize the heroic work performed by our police officers during and well after superstorm Sandy. When an emergency of this magnitude occurs, our police officers are ordered to work around the clock to maintain public safety and to help people who were hit hardest by the storm. In doing so, our police officers had to leave their families to help others tend to damaged homes.

Police officers are generous, caring members of our society and display that each and every day, on duty or off. To imply that they don't donate to organizations such as the Red Cross shows a lack of respect.

James Carver, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association.

I find this letter appalling. The American Red Cross is made up of volunteers to help in times of crises, and their work does not go unnoticed. For the writer to express sour grapes about police overtime undermines what the Red Cross is all about.

Maybe he should find a profession that pays overtime. Or maybe he should focus his attention on Nassau's county executive, who has not hired police in years, causing police overtime to increase.

James Gampel, Mount Sinai

I am trying to understand why this writer is so angry. Maybe he should get a dictionary and look up the definition of "employee" and that of "volunteer." That may help to clear up his obvious confusion.

Stacy Kearns, Bayport

Long ago, I was a detective with the New York City Police Department. At the medical examiner's office in the aftermath of Sept. 11, I got a cup of coffee, a smile and a thank you from a woman in the Salvation Army canteen.

During my holiday shopping later that year, I vowed that I would put $20 in the Salvation Army kettle going into the store, each and every time I passed one.

I don't know the woman who gave me that cup of coffee, but I bet she didn't expect the return she got for the investment of one smile.

Charity comes from the heart; it's voluntary. It can't be demanded or coerced.

Dan Mahoney, Levittown

Volunteers are the backbone of this country, and they work side by side every day with police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses and educators, who are paid for their services. Police officers are trained to wear many hats, and this letter writer only saw one of them.

Tricia L. Schreck, East Meadow

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