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Nassau police officer honored for collecting meals for vets

Nassau County honored Officer Joseph Nocella as its top cop for the month on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Nocella raised enough funds to provide more than 20,000 meals for needy Long Island veterans and their families. (Credit: Howard Schnapp)

Nassau lawmakers Monday honored a Fifth Precinct police officer for raising more than 21,000 meals for needy veterans and their families during the past four years.

Officer Joseph Nocella has partnered with Island Harvest to collect food and supplies for veterans. In 2017, Nocella collected 8,000 meals.

“Joe constantly does the right thing,” said acting Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “He’s a great advocate and represents his community well.”

The legislature also recognized Nassau Detectives Joseph Fontana and Frank Leckler of the Vehicle Theft Squad and Detectives Juan Pichardo and Pete Sikinger of the Third Squad for breaking up a North Shore vehicular burglary ring.

Three suspects were arrested after police said they broke into at least 13 cars during the past two months and stole cash and other items. The thefts occurred in Oyster Bay, Roslyn, Old Brookville, Manhasset and Great Neck.

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