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Shelter Island Police Officer of the Year Sean Clark — ‘Always willing to help’

Shelter Island Police Officer Sean Clark was honored by his department as its 2022 Officer of the Year. On Friday, March 10, Officer Clark received his award at the annual gala dinner hosted by the Southampton Kiwanis Club for all East End Police Departments at the Aquarium Ballroom in Riverhead.

At the ceremony, Police Chief Jim Read congratulated all officers who were honored, and added, “It’s important to take a moment to recognize the family members of law enforcement. Officer Clark’s wife Mallory is with us this evening. We all know that without the love and support of our family this job could be extremely difficult.”

Other members of the department were on hand, as well, to celebrate their colleague.

To help Officer Clark celebrate at the gala awards dinner in Riverhead on March 10, were his colleagues, from left, Det./Sgt Jack Thilberg, Officer Taylor Rando, Officer Glenn Kehl, Officer Clark, Sgt. Anthony Rando and Police Chief Jim Read. (Courtesy photo)

Officer Clark, who has been with the department for five years, had a busy year serving and protecting his community. He led the department in arrests, and as Chief Read noted, was active in all the duties and responsibilities of a police officer, including investigations, calls for service, vehicle and traffic stops and enforcement.

Two notable incidents in 2022 stand out involving Officer Clark. In June last year he responded to a call at an Island store of an intoxicated man in his 30s attempting to leave without paying.

Officer Clark determined the suspect wasn’t just drunk, but in the midst of a medical emergency caused by a drug overdose threatening his life. With the assistance of members of the Island’s Emergency Medical Services, Narcan was administered, bringing the subject back to consciousness.

He was then transported to a hospital.

Further investigation by Officer Clark and other officers discovered several small packages appearing to contain narcotics. Eventually 102 packages containing cocaine, ketamine and heroin were taken into evidence.

The subject was charged with felonies of possession of narcotics and intent to sell.

Later the same month, Officer Clark answered a call to an Island residence where a woman was locked in an upstairs bedroom, saying she had been assaulted.

Officer Clark, assisted by other officers, quickly tracked down the suspect, who was taken into custody and charged with rape, assault with a weapon, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Statistics for the Island Police Department as a whole show 4,144 calls for service; 157 criminal cases; 37 arrests; and 438 tickets issued.

Service is inseparable from Officer Clark’s makeup. A Marine Corps veteran who served eight years, he retired with the rank of captain. Only the second Islander to graduate from the Naval Academy — the first was decorated Admiral Harold E. Shear — Officer Clark served as far afield as Japan.

He was a platoon commander, stationed out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., responsible for 52 Marines and a fleet of vehicles. He ran the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, living in the jungle, directing operations with 22 helicopter landing zones in 17,500 acres of single and double canopy jungle.

Other assignments included duty as an amphibious vehicle officer, moving Marines off Navy ships to deploy on the ground. He has also served as a company executive officer, and was promoted to Marine Headquarters in Quantico, Va., where he became a top manager and training analyst, overseeing all Marine schools and training standards.

At the Officer of the Year Awards dinner, Chief Read said, “Several members noted that Officer Clark exemplifies a professional police officer in all of his activities, always willing to help his fellow officers and the community he serves.”