By Danny Schrafel
Inspector Edward Brady, commanding officer of the Second Precinct, will soon have to reprioritize his battles. Tops on his list starting next week: cleaning out his garage.
That’s because Brady will retire on July 17, concluding a 36-year career in the Suffolk County Police Department and more than five years as the Second Precinct’s top cop, covering the Town of Huntington.
“He’s had a very positive effect over there in the Second Precinct,” said Suffolk Police Deputy Inspector Kevin Fallon.
Brady announced his retirement to dozens in attendance at a community meeting at the Second Precinct Wednesday morning.
“It was a great line of work,” he said in an interview. “At the end of the day, you are helping people, and sometimes, you come upon people who have gone through a very traumatic experience and you are the first step in putting their life back together for them.”
It hasn’t been determined who will take the helm at the precinct once Brady steps down, officials said.
“He’s going to be a big pair of shoes to fill,” Fallon said.
Brady was a police officer in the Second Precinct from 1979-1987 and returned to the precinct as a deputy inspector in 2008. After nine months in that role, he was promoted to inspector, was transferred to Headquarters in 2009, and was then assigned to the Second Precinct at the end of that year, the role in which he will retire next week.
“I know we had a lot of differences over the course of the years… but I wanted to let you know that we appreciate everything you’ve done,” Huntington Station community activist Jim McGoldrick told Brady.
In the two decades between his Second Precinct assignments, Brady worked his way up the chain of command, first becoming a sergeant in the Fourth Precinct, then a lieutenant in Internal Affairs. He was promoted to captain and transferred to the Sixth Precinct, then returned as a captain in Internal Affairs. Brady was promoted to deputy inspector and moved to the First Precinct. He was transferred to the property bureau before finally returning to Huntington.
Brady became the Second Precinct’s commanding officer at a time when violent crime was “kind of rampant” in Huntington Station, with a string of high-profile shootings during the summer putting the Station in the spotlight.
The violence led to “one of the worst things” during his tenure – the closure of the Jack Abrams School in July 2010, a closure which lasted for more than three years.
“That was not a good way to go,” he said. “They really brought a lot of attention to themselves when they decided to do that. Fortunately, a new superintendent came in [Jim Polansky] and I think he did an absolutely masterful job in re-opening that school [as a STEM-Magnet school].”
Brady said violent crime has been cut in half since 2001, and more resources are being dedicated to fighting gangs. A 202 Bravo patrol, which covers an eight-block concentration around the school, continues to this day, something Brady said he believes was “instrumental in calming this area down.”
He also touted the efforts of the Huntington Station Violence Initiative, which, in its first year in operation, has yielded over 1,000 arrests, 114 involving gang members. Another 6,000 summonses have been written during that time.
“We are headed in the right direction. There’s still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
Thanks to enhanced community outreach efforts, Brady said that local ties between police and the community, especially members of the Hispanic and African-American communities, have never been stronger.
“If we can keep those bonds between the residents and the police department very strong, that will help us both,” he said.
A symbol of that bond came from their partners at the Huntington Community First Aid Squad leaders, who presented Brady with a certificate of appreciation for his “dedication and support of the community.”
All in all, Brady said his tenure has been a “pleasure” – one marked with “a lot of great times, a number of bad times,” but blessings as well.
“We had two of our police officers who were critically injured, and they survived,” Brady said. He noted Det. Nick Guerrero, who made a “remarkable” recovery from traumatic brain injury, and Police Officer Mark Collins, who was shot at close range and “miraculously survived.”
“I think God really protected them that day and really took care of the police officers of the Second Precinct,” he said.