Virtually all of Amityville’s police officers, along with village Mayor Peter Imbert and a crowd of well-wishers, were waiting for Sgt. Dennis D’Amico when he walked out of police headquarters Wednesday.
It was his last day on the job.
D’Amico, 61, who was retiring after 36 years on the force, walked out in dress blues shortly after the 7 p.m. shift change. His fellow officers, in dress uniforms and white gloves, lined either side of the steps to salute him.
Police Chief Donald Dobby praised him as a colleague, friend and teacher, and announced that D’Amico was being given the honorary rank of first sergeant.
D’Amico hugged his colleagues, saying a few private words to each. He had a few for the assembled crowd, too. “Enough with the melancholy,” he said. “Let’s go have a drink.”
D’Amico began his law enforcement career in 1973 with the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office and joined the Amityville Police Department two years later, he said in a phone interview Thursday.
“When we went out on the street at that time it was a little wilder,” he said, what with the drinking age at 18 and busy weekend trade at area bars.
But police work was in some ways simpler, too, he said.
“Today, especially with domestic incidents, you’re going on very sophisticated calls,” he said. “Now, we have different problems. All of Long Island is a 24-hour society.”
D’Amico is looking forward to a son’s marriage, but he also couldn’t help looking back.
“I dedicated my education, everything in my life was geared to law enforcement,” he said. “And all of a sudden, it’s over. Thirty-six years, in the snap of a finger.”