Niagara Gazette — When Carlin was called up to active duty in the military, from November 2001 to October 2002, DeMarco stepped in as the acting police superintendent. He continued in that right-hand role when John Chella succeeded Carlin as the Cataract City’s top cop.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better right-hand man,” Chella said. He made my life so much easier. I can’t say enough about his ability to quietly administer this department. He was a consummate professional.”
DeMarco said his toughest day on the job was the night he got the calls that Officers Walt Nichols and Mike Bird had been shot in a confrontation with a man who had tried to kill his girlfriend.
“It was almost surreal,” he recalled. “I remember getting the phone call and the lieutenant told me, “We have two officers down. It sinks in and you know it’s not going to be a good night.”
Yet, DeMarco said it was also one of his proudest nights to a Falls Police commander.
“It was one of the best nights, because every one of the men and women in this department stood up and did their jobs the best they could. When things are at their worst, cops are at their best.”
DeMarco said that belief was reinforced for him on Monday, when, in his last week on the job, he responded to a murder-suicide call on 29th Street. The incident happened on the first night that Captain Joseph Casale and Lieutenant Ron Cirrito had taken to the streets in their new roles.
“It was good to see them out there and to see them doing the things that needed to be done,” DeMarco said. “It was good, for just one last time, to see those guys working.”
The captain makes no bones about what he feels is “real police work.” If an aspiring police recruit were to ask him the best place to work, DeMarco would say, without hesitation, “Be a city cop.”