This past Thursday, the MTA Police dedicated its new Jamaica headquarters to fallen officer Dennis McCarney. Mr. McCarney of Hicksville was the first Long Island Railroad police officer to die in the line of duty. His unfortunate death occurred 18 years ago on March 15, 1989.
He was killed while chasing a robbery suspect out of Penn Station. As Mr. McCarney approached, the suspect turned around & punched him several times in the chest. It is believed that the punches led to the fatal heart attack that took his life. Here are some comments about his death & the headquarters being named after him:
Retired officer & Mr. McCarney’s partner on March 15, 1989 Marc Catok – “In my opinion I’m not a doctor that killed him. Now his name will never be forgotten.”
Mr. McCarney’s widow Marilyn Duignan (has been remarried) – “It’s still very moving to see that the police department still remembers and thinks enough of Dennis to honor him with this kind of dedication. I hope no other police officer ever needs to have a building named after them.”
The MTA issued a press release & here is what it had to say:
MTA Police have a new home in Jamaica dedicated to a fallen police officer. A ceremony was held today marking the official opening of the MTA PD’s Third District Headquarters with local, MTA and LIRR officials in attendance including MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot Sander, LIRR President Helena Williams, MTA Deputy Executive Director of Security William Morange and members of the family of Officer Dennis McCarney.
The modern three-floor police facility located within the AirTrain JFK building in Jamaica consolidates two former facilities that housed MTA police officers tasked with patrolling Queens and Brooklyn. Reminiscent of old police station houses, the new headquarters has two green and white glass globes placed strategically adjacent to the first floor reception desk staffed by a police officer and visible to the public. Although part of the facility honors the past, the rest is firmly rooted in 21st century policing. Inside the 18,000 square foot facility are areas including a large first aid room, questioning and line-up rooms, holding cells, muster room, conference rooms, offices, workout and locker facilities.
The new headquarters was dedicated to police officer Dennis McCarney. The former Long Island Rail Road Police Officer from Nassau County was assaulted by a robbery suspect while attempting an arrest on March 15, 1989. Officer McCarney succumbed to his injuries the following day. Police officials credited the 36-year old police officer with being instrumental in forming the department’s anti-crime and decoy unit. Officer McCarney was a 16-year veteran of the LIRR PD having served as both a police officer and a detective. The LIRR and MetroNorth Police Departments were merged to form the MTA Police Department in 1998.
MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot Sander said, “I am honored to be here today at this impressive facility named after a valiant police officer who was dedicated to keeping our customers and the public safe.” He added, “I’m sure the visibility and round-the-clock accessibility of this building will be a beacon of safety to the traveling public just as Officer McCarney was.”
LIRR President Helena Williams called the new headquarters a great service for railroad customers. “MTA Police now have a place right next door to LIRR headquarters that everyone can be proud of. It’s something that will be a major plus for customers, employees and the Jamaica community for many years to come.”
Officer McCarney’s wife, Marilyn and two adult sons, Brian, a Station Foreman in the LIRR’s Passenger Services Department, and Kevin were also in attendance at the ceremony.
The eastern region of MTA Police stretches from Penn Station to Montauk and is organized into four districts. The third district covers Queens and Brooklyn.
I think this is a great gesture by the MTA. It is nice to see them honor one of their own!