Local businesses offer support to community, fellow officers following death of NYPD officer from LI

Jonathan Diller lived in Massapequa Park and grew up in Franklin Square.

Liz Burke and

News 12 Staff

Mar 26, 2024, 10:02 AM

Updated 25 days ago

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Local businesses are offering their support to the community and fellow officers following the death of NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller on Monday.
Shannon Passanante works at Tim’s Florist on Park Boulevard in Massapequa Park.
She and her coworkers have been making over 200 police blue ribbons after Diller’s neighbor called the florist with the idea.
The florist is donating all of the ribbons to the community.
“For me, if this makes people feel better, and let everyone know that this family, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, Tim’s Florist, we are behind you. We are going to mourn with you," says Passanante.
At nearby Umberto’s restaurant, the owner offered free dinners to Diller’s fellow police officers this week, and a few of his customers said they want to help, too.
“The customers are coming in and saying, 'Listen, whatever these police officers need, they have, their meals, please, I’ll pay for it,'" says Gaetano Corteo, owner of Umberto’s.
Others say they are praying for the Diller family.
“A young man, with a young child. It’s a tragedy,” says retired NYC firefighter Chris Ferro.
Diller grew up in Franklin Square and was a graduate of St. Mary's High School in Manhasset. Flags were flown at half-staff at the school to honor him.
Ronald Benevento, a neighbor who knew Diller his whole life, says he would always go out of his way for others.
"That's what he was all about, helping people and just making the community better," Benevento said.
Neighbors say Diller always enjoyed sports and was currently on the adult Sportime hockey league in Bethpage.
Matthew Panetta, Diller's high school lacrosse coach and teacher at St. Mary's High School, says Diller was a defenseman and helped lead the team to a championship in 2010.
"When you win a championship in a small school like this everyone knows," Panetta says. "Everyone knew who Jonathan Diller was so it's a huge loss."
The NYPD police commissioner says that Diller leaves behind a wife and young child.
A vigil will be held Wednesday at Brady Park in Massapequa Park to honor Diller's memory. Flags will also be flown at half-staff at county, town and village facilities in his honor.
Visitation will be held for Diller on Thursday and Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Massapequa Funeral Home in Massapequa Park. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.


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