55-year-old Freeport officer says final farewell after 30 years of service

Lucy Yang Image
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Long Island officer says final farewell after 30 years of service
Freeport Police Officer Daniel Dean, 55, retired Tuesday night after 30 years of service to the Long Island department. Lucy Yang has the story.

FREEPORT, Nassau County (WABC) -- A Long Island police officer who trained and mentored hundreds of recruits, bid farewell to his department after 30 years of service.

Daniel Dean was hoping to walk quietly out the back door on this his last day, except there were too many hugs that needed to be shared.

"This is so overwhelming," Dean said. "I appreciate all of you. I love you very much."

The 55-year-old was born in Freeport, where he grew up and then spent 30 years protecting the community.

"One of the finest officers to patrol the village of Freeport," Deputy Chief Carl Hetzel said.

After Tuesday night, Dean will be a proud retired officer who served Freeport well.

ALSO READ | Pennsylvania woman missing since 1992 found alive in Puerto Rico

Bob Kopta reported his wife, Patricia, missing in 1992. She was a Pittsburgh street preacher, also known as "The Sparrow."

For most of his career, he worked the night shift. He has won accolades and volunteered generously, but he is most proud of his mentoring, teaching hundreds of rookie officers what textbooks cannot.

"Something they don't teach in the police academy is instinct," Dean said.

"One thing he taught me was always get home safe and things you wouldn't normally look for, he was one to point out," Freeport Police Officer Corey Cooke said.

Cooke says he learned a lot from Dean. Cooke credits the 30-year veteran for making him a better officer.

Officer Matt Seridge says Dean would teach him how to handle a normal call, but also taught him the "what ifs."

"My hope is that I have left as much love and knowledge in this place as I am taking with me," Dean said.

Dean's days with the department are now over, but his legacy lives on through the next generation of young officers he helped mentor.


* More Long Island news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.