Let me introduce myself I'm Sgt. A. J. Falconeri of the Gulfport Police Department, Fl. On 01-31-03 at approximately 1630 - 1700 I had just started my shift and I was attempting to get my officers on the road to start their shift. In the mist of having tasks handed to me from my Lieutenant and trying to get officers equipment and answer phone calls from outside agencies and citizens it was a bit hectic. I then received a page from my wife (Deana Falconeri). I called her back as soon as I had a brief break in all the madness. When I called her on her cell phone she was a bit frantic. She had told me that she was on her way home from work when a vehicle came out and struck the rear of her vehicle. She told me that she did not know how much damage if any was done to her vehicle nor did she know if there was any damage to the other vehicle. She did tell me that the other vehicle did not stop. And that she was following it. Feeling a little helpless I told her to hang up and call 911. She did as I advised and got the Pinellas Park Police on the line. The location of the crash occurred to my understanding at 118th Ave. and 28th St. N. They took information from her and relayed to F.H.P. dispatch. The dispatcher was very helpful and took the information needed and had a calming effect on Deana. Pinellas Park Police Department had two of their Officers, Sgt. Russo, and Ofc. Barcello stop the vehicle in question. They remained with the vehicle and driver until Trooper Grindl could advise what if anything that he had. Your dispatcher, (Pinellas Park P.D.) advised Deana that a Trooper would be with her shortly. Knowing how busy both of your agency are at around 1700 hours on a Friday afternoon I was very impressed with the response time. Trooper Griendl met Deana back at the location of the crash. He was very polite and soft spoken and was able to sort through what had taken place. I was able to talk to Deana again to find out that Trooper Griendl had taken care of the situation. Even though it was a very minor crash with little to no damage I had now way of knowing this until Trooper Griendl arrived and could make that observation. As you well know Law Enforcement Officers give up a lot to perform their duties. Birthday with your kids, wedding anniversaries, holidays. When a family member is in distress and you want to drop everything and run to their aid, however it is not a options that we have. It is however comforting to know that fellow Law Enforcement Officers were looking out for my family and I did not have to worry about the safety of a loved one. In my experience I find that the public are quick to make a complaint about an officer and rarely if ever thank an officer or dispatcher for what they do day in and day out. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each Officer, Trooper, and Dispatcher for watching out for my family when I could not be there for them. I apologize if I forget anyone or misspelled anyone's names. If there is anything that I can do for you please feel free to contact me. As Always STAY SAFE.
Sergeant A.J. Falconeri
Gulfport Police Department - Patrol Division