In Suffolk, new police leadership

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By Dan Sears

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Suffolk County has announced its new police leadership.

Robert Waring will remain commissioner, a role to which he was appointed earlier in January. Waring will continue to serve as chief of department. He will be joined by Kevin Catalina as deputy police commissioner, and Belinda Groneman as deputy police commissioner. Groneman is the first Latina to serve as in this position in the department’s history.

“The dedicated men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department are ready for new leadership, and this team ushers in a new era in Suffolk County law enforcement,” Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine said in a written statement.

“I want to thank them for accepting these positions, which come with great responsibilities to every resident and member of the force,” he added.

Waring is a 37-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, most recently served as chief of department – the highest sworn position in the department. During his more than three-decade career, Waring has held supervisory roles in every division in the department including serving as chief of patrol, chief of operations, commanding officer of the Third Precinct and commanding officer of the Precinct Detective Bureau.

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“I am truly honored County Executive Romaine has asked me to remain in the commissioner’s role,” Waring said in a written statement. “I have had a long, incredible career with this great department, and it is the highlight of my career to lead these fine men and women, who put their lives on the line every day to keep every Suffolk County resident safe.”

Catalina has served as undersheriff of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office from 2018 to the present, where he has been responsible for the oversight of the Police Division, and the Corrections Division Intelligence Bureau. He was also responsible for logistical planning and site security for all large events in Manhattan North, including Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and New York City Marathon. He served as the deputy chief and commanding officer of the Intelligence Bureau Operational and Analytical Section from August 2017 through July 2018, where he oversaw all counterterrorist operations and investigations within the NYPD Intelligence Division.

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Groneman is an 18-year veteran of the Suffolk police department, retiring as special assistant to the police commissioner. She is a seasoned professional administrator and executive with a focus in law enforcement, shared governance, community relations, workforce development and continuous improvement for nearly four decades. She most recently served as the law enforcement coordinator and congressional aide to former U.S. Rep Lee Zeldin from 2015-23. She additionally is involved in community organizations including the Suffolk County Community College Foundation Board, Pronto of Long Island, Inc., American Cancer Society and Islip Food for Hope.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney showed said he supports the appointments.

“The leadership team announced by County Executive Romaine is excellent and the District
Attorney’s Office is committed to doing everything in our power to assist them in achieving their
mission,” Tierney said in a written statement.

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