Floral Park PD on patrol as bargoers, hockey fans enjoy Thanksgiving Eve
There was no early Thanksgiving break for one Nassau police department.
The day before Thanksgiving is often considered one of the biggest party nights of the year. The Rangers and Islanders were also playing against each other nearby, making it a busy night for the Floral Park Police Department.
Packed bars full of old friends having a drink together meant officers were going to spend Thanksgiving eve walking up and down Tulip Avenue.
"We have a big game at the arena, which is next to us, but it's also the biggest recreational night of the year," says Lt. William Doherty. "The danger is that we're going to get pulled in different directions."
Police across both Nassau and Suffolk counties are also keeping an eye out for impaired drivers.
Marge Lee works with a group that helps DWI victims. She says they plead with people every year not to drink and drive.
Her stepson Kenney was killed by a drunk driver more than 30 years ago.
"Doesn't matter how many people are there," Lee says. "Me and every other family who have been shattered by a drunk driver, they see that empty chair."
Doherty is urging people not to do anything they wouldn't do any other night so they can be home on Thanksgiving to enjoy the parade and their turkey.
Floral Park police officers stopped at every bar as the evening was getting underway to let owners know they will be around throughout the evening. They asked each establishment to keep customers under control so they wouldn't have to go back.