Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum, County Executive Laura Curran and Nassau County Police Department celebrate renaming of headquarters in Honor of Trailblazing Former Commissioner William J. Willett

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Legislator Birnbaum looks on as a sign is unveiled during the renaming celebration for the William J. Willett Nassau County Police Headquarters on Tuesday, May 11.

Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D –Great Neck) joined members of the Willett family, County Executive Laura Curran, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, and her colleagues in government on Tuesday, May 11 to celebrate the renaming of police headquarters in honor of former Commissioner William J. Willett.

The honor was bestowed in recognition of the sterling legacy of service that Commissioner Willett earned in his 48-year career in law enforcement – a track record he established while breaking barriers as he rose through the ranks. In 2000, he reached the pinnacle of the department, becoming the first African American to serve as the Nassau Police Department’s commissioner.

During Tuesday morning’s ceremony, Ryder announced the retirement of Commissioner Willett’s badge number and presented his badge, enclosed in a glass case, to the Willett family.

“Through his nearly five decades of committed service to the residents of Nassau County, William Willett was a trailblazing figure who led with dignity and wisdom and was known for making our communities better while uplifting the department and the members he led,” Birnbaum said. “It is truly fitting for the headquarters of an institution he cherished so deeply to bear his name, and it was a privilege to join in the celebration of an extraordinary man.”

 

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