Hometown Hero 10/20/2008: Thaddeus Plezia

Thaddeus Plezia
October 29, 2008 2:26:53 PM PDT
West Hempstead native and Nassau County police officer, Thaddeus Plezia, is not only an amazing person, but also, he is a WABC 7 Online Hometown Hero. Officer Plezia is a highly-trained medic in Nassau County's helicopter squadron, which was honored for helping to move people and machinery at Ground Zero on and after the September 11th attacks.

Officer Plezia was also recently approved to receive Nassau County's highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for saving a man from a vehicle that was engulfed in flames and stuck on the LIRR train tracks. For Officer Plezia, it's just another day at work, whether it's saving lives as a medic or flying the helicopter in an emergency, if one of Nassau's expert pilots is incapacitated. Before becoming a police officer, Officer Plezia was also a volunteer firefighter for the Lakeview Fire Department, serving as their youngest Chief ever elected for two consecutive terms.

Officer Plezia skills extend beyond his work on the police force. For over 20 years, Officer Plezia has been performing in Long Island theaters as an actor and a magician. He also travels to schools and libraries with his own magical educational show, Storytime Magic, teaching thousands of children the importance of believing in one's self and making proper decisions.

In addition, Officer Plezia uses his educational magic shows to teach fire safety, the importance of reading, and good nutrition. When not saving lives or educating youngsters, Officer Plezia also volunteers as a merit badge counselor with the Boy Scouts of America, teaching First Aid and Fire Safety.

According to his wife and nominator, one of Officer Plezia's most important contributions, however, is raising his family. He has inspired, guided, and mentored his two step-children, Tom and Kim, as well as his son, Teddy. He teaches them through his actions and his beliefs. His motto at home, at work, and in life is, "Do the right thing," and Thaddeus Plezia does this.

In addition to inspiring his children, Thaddeus also inspires his wife, who is a theater director, as her biggest cheerleader as well as her set builder, prop master, and special effects coordinator. Officer Plezia truly inspires all of those who have met him. Even though he risks his life everyday, he does not consider it an obligation; he considers it a privilege. That is why Officer Thaddeus Plezia is our Hometown Hero.

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