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Police Officer Michael J. Califano | Nassau County Police Department, New York Nassau County Police Department, New York

Police Officer

Michael J. Califano

Nassau County Police Department, New York

End of Watch: Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 44

Tour: 12 years

Badge # 2852

Cause: Automobile accident

Incident Date: 2/4/2011

Weapon: Not available

Suspect: Pleaded guilty to reckless driving

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Police Officer Michael Califano was killed when his patrol car was struck by a truck as he conducted a vehicle stop.

Officer Califano pulled over a box truck on the Long Island Expressway near exit 39 for insufficient lighting. As Officer Califano was sitting in his patrol car writing a summons, it was struck by a flatbed tow truck. The force of the impact pushed the patrol car under the box truck and knocked the box truck into traffic. The flatbed truck ended up on top of the police car. It took rescuers thirty minutes to cut through the roof of the patrol car and remove the officer.

Officer Califano was taken to the Nassau University Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

The driver of the flatbed truck was arrested and charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide, three counts of assault, and failure to move over for an emergency vehicle. In February 2013 the subject pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

Officer Califano is survived by his wife and three children. He had served with the Nassau County Police Department for 12 years and was assigned to the Highway Patrol.

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Mike and I started together in the Nassau County Sheriff's Department on 12-16-1988. Mike was a real go-to guy, working in the more difficult areas of the Nassau County Jail. We were all overjoyed when he went to the PD. Many of us encouraged him to make the move. In Mike, the PD got the best we had to offer.

Mike and I were skiing and camping buddies. I was at his wedding. When he went to the Highway Patrol, "Highway Mike" was always in my thoughts. Especially when I was on the highway!

I was immensely saddened when we lost Mike. He died the night of my NCSD retirement dinner. I have yet to recover from the shock. Mike was a fine man, who was taken from us much too soon.

Peter Bensen NCSD retired
Nassau County Sheriff's Department
February 5, 2014


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