Mary Komosinski retired Oct. 25 after 32 years as assistant to Chief of Police David Hegermiller. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Mary Komosinski, who served as an assistant to four chiefs of the Riverhead Police Department, retired today after nearly 36 years of service to the Town of Riverhead.

“Change is hard. Saying goodbye is even harder,” Police Chief David Hegermiller said today during a brief ceremony outside Riverhead Police Department headquarters, where police officers and other town employees lined up to bid Komosinski farewell.

“I want you to know it’s been my honor and my privilege to work side by side with you,” the chief told her.

Komosinski was the assistant to Hegermiller’s predecessors, Chief Joe Grattan, Chief Larry Grattan and Chief Roscoe Palmer. She started in the post in 1987, after working four years in other town departments.

“Come Monday morning, it’s going to be a new place around here,” said Police Officer Dennis Cavanaugh, the department’s emcee extraordinaire. “Everybody’s going to be calling for Mary, but Mary won’t be here. She’s going to be enjoying her retirement with her husband Matt,” he said.

“You know something, Mare? It’s been an honor,” he said, embracing her.

Mary Komosinski bids farewell to Riverhead police officers during a walkout ceremony this afternoon. Photo: Denise Civiletti

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mary as the buffer to the chief the last 10 years,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said. “She’s been a tremendous asset to the town.”

Councilwoman Catherine Kent praised Komosinski’s “unsurpassed” dedication to the Town of Riverhead.

“Clearly we’ve been blessed… to have Mary working here,” Kent said.

“I’d like to say for the whole Town of Riverhead and from the bottom of my heart that I wish you well and thank you so much for your years of service to our town,” Kent said.

Komosinski thanked those assembled for the recognition. “For once I’m at a loss for words,” she said tearfully.

“I’ve met a lot of great people here,” Komosinski said, noting that she was working for the police chief when a lot of the officers lining the headquarters staircase were hired.

“Please be safe and be well,” she told them.

“I’m going to miss this place, believe it or not.”

Mary Komosinski and her husband Matt Hattorf, who retired from his job in the Riverhead Sewer District earlier this year, at today’s ceremony.
Photo: Denise Civiletti

Komosinski said her immediate post-retirement plans include tending to some things at home that have been long-neglected.

“I’ll be spending some time with family and my husband,” she said.

But she’ll miss the police department. It’s a good group of people I am going to miss it,” Komosinski said.

Hegermiller said he’s been working with Komosinski for 26 years, 17 as chief and before that, when he was second-in-command, “we worked side by side,” he said.

“She’s been the backbone of the department,” Hegermiller said. “Who’s going to tell me what to do next week?”

No replacement has yet been appointed, the chief said. The town will be obtaining a list of qualified applicants from the Suffolk County Department of Civil Service, he said. They’re working on figuring out the best civil service title, he said.

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