TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe Board of Trustees remembered longtime Tuckahoe Police Chief Gerard Mignone, who died Jan. 3 after a lengthy battle with cancer, at its first meeting of the year Monday.
Mignone, 73, was appointed a police officer in 1966 and served the village for 37 years. He was made a detective youth officer in 1972 and heralded around the state as a pioneer for many of his programs.
Migone was one of the first officers in the state to be named a youth officer, Police Chief John Costanzo said.
“In terms of community outreach and police relations, Mignone put models in place that were way before his time. He enacted several programs that brought young people and police officers together,” he said. “He made us see officers in a different light, so that you looked at them as human beings, not as people who were detached from you.”
After being named the chief in 1993, Mignone was instrumental in bringing the Tuckahoe Police Department into the digital age, Costanzo said. He installed computers in departments and laptops in patrol cars, using thousands of dollars from grants and forfeitures.
“His legacy is that he pointed this department in the right direction, and 50 years from now we will still be following his lead,” Costanzo said. “Chief Mignone was the right man at the right time. He was a true leader and was well-respected by everyone.”
At the meeting, Mayor Steve Ecklond said the Board of Trustees will discuss naming the new Police Youth Bureau for Mignone. Moving forward, the board plans to discuss details with Costanzo about arranging a memorial and signs.
“I think that would be very deserving,” Costanzo said. “That was his love. He advocated and championed the causes of the defenseless. He loved to steer young people in the right direction.”