The Village of Lindenhurst is now offering a reward to help bring the person or persons responsible for vandalizing the canine memorial in the Lindenhurst Remembers 9/11 Memorial Garden to justice.
“The Village of Lindenhurst will be offering a $500 reward that leads to the arrest of these vandals. If you have any information, please call the Suffolk County Police at 800-220-TIPS,” Mayor Tom Brennan said in a statement released following the criminal mischief incident in the early morning hours of May 27.
The SCPD First Precinct, which is investigating the incident, In fact, the incident resulted in the 300-lb. cement 9/11 memorial statue being rocked off it base, breaking the rebar, cracking the cement feet and knocking the statue to the ground.
, the patrol, search and rescue, and cadaver dog, who served with former Lindenhurst Fire Department Chief and former NYPD Canine Officer Steve Smaldon for many years. Smaldon and Hansen responded to 9/11, working at Ground Zero after the WTC fell for about nine months. They later responded to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Hansen passed soon after that.
The statue was installed three years ago during the annual commemoration at the garden, which was completed in 2006 to honor the memories of those from Lindenhurst who died in 9/11.
The mayor called the act of vandalism to the statue “deplorable and unacceptable.”
“Damaging a piece of property that signifies the that many across our community still and will forever feel warrants swift and immediate action” Brennan said in the same statement.
He also thanked the First Precinct for its efforts: “I am grateful to the Suffolk County Police Department’s First Precinct who are putting their energy and resources behind this investigation.”
The ahead of , and is looking into installing a security camera. The fenced-in garden is only open between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and the gate stays locked the rest of the time.