Niagara Gazette — It was a snappy salute for his troops from Falls Police Capt. John DeMarco.
As the soon-to-retire administrative captain received one of his department's top honors on Friday, he said he wanted to express his appreciation to the men and women who helped him do his job.
"I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank the men and women of this department for the job they do," said the ex-Marine of his impromptu gesture of respect. "I think this is one of the finest department's in the area."
DeMarco was one of four officers and one civilian employee to receive the Chief's Award as part of the Falls Police Department's annual honors program.
"It was totally unexpected," DeMarco said.
Police Superintendent Bryan DalPorto also tapped Traffic Capt. Salvatore Pino for the honor. Pino was recognized for his "leadership and performance" in guiding preparations for Nik Wallenda's "Walk Over The Falls."
"I'm very honored to get (the Chief's Award)," Pino said. "Wallenda was the biggest thing I've ever been involved in and it was just so much fun. We had no troubles and everything went well."
The department's long-time law advisor, Bernard Stack, received a Chief's Award for his "tireless efforts to provide guidance and counsel."
Also receiving Chief's Awards were Emergency Response Team commander Capt. Dave LeGault and deputy commander Lt. Dave Kok. DalPorto noted that the pair have conducted over 100 "high risk drugs raids" as well as dealing with several armed stand-offs during their tenure.
"It was a surprise, truly surprising and humbling and unexpected," LeGault said. "I love working with the ERT. I love working with the guys on the ERT and it's not about one guy (on the ERT). It's all about the team."