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Nassau 'top cops' get unique distinction: A citation signed by all 19 members of the legislature

Second precinct officers Joseph Lamariana, Frank Bokrosh, and

Second precinct officers Joseph Lamariana, Frank Bokrosh, and Philip Lagrasta are honored by the Nassau County Legislature on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 in Mineola. The three were recognized for their work during a robbery on July 23, 2015. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Three Nassau County police officers named "top cops" at the Nassau Legislature for collaring an armed robber got something that no other recent awardees have received: A citation signed by all 19 members of the legislature.

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) made the issue public Monday when she joked about the apparent backroom citation-drama from her seat at the beginning of the legislative meeting, during which Second Precinct Officers Frank Bokrosh, Philip Lagrasta and Joseph Lamariana were honored.

"We have before us to give to these wonderful people a citation with all 19 names on it, so I think you really should feel good about this," Gonsalves told Police Benevolent Association James Carver, who replied: "We always felt good about it. Now we feel better."

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) told Newsday that since the Legislature began awarding citations to "top cops" chosen by the PBA for exemplary work, only the signatures of legislators in the Republican-majority had been on the citations. The seven Democrats' signatures were not included.

Abrahams said members of his caucus wanted to sign -- and brought up the issue with Carver and Gonsalves -- and ultimately resorted to issuing their own citations to the same officers, signed by the Democratic legislators.

"For a while, to be fair, we just put together our own citations," said Abrahams, who called the situation "unfortunate," but added: "It was more about coordination. I don't think there was any ill intent."

Carver said he didn't want to comment on the apparent squabbling, but said: "It's always been the PBA's view that all the legislators honored the 'top cops' every month regardless of who signed the citation or not. And we appreciate the support of all the 19 legislators with this honor each month."

Asked why the citations only had the signature of Republicans, Gonsalves said: "Don't even go there."

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