Suffolk County police officer receives accolades for helping Super Storm Sandy survivor

HAUPPAGUE – A Suffolk County police officer received accolades on Thursday for helping a survivor of Super Storm Sandy, whose home has finally been repaired.

Officer Alejandro Sanchez volunteered to help Sergeant Maureen Stark, a Suffolk County park ranger and first responder during 9/11, after her home was damaged during hurricane sandy, six years ago.

“I had some days off, I called Maureen, we got in touch, and I just decided to drive out and start helping in any way I could,” Sanchez said.

Stark was a little hesitant at first, however, now she says the project has created a friendship between them.

“You know I kind of felt strange because he was a stranger and uh I didn’t want him to go out of his way, and he goes demo’s my thing,” Stark said.

After years of hard work and patience, the repairs to Stark’s home are finally done, just in time for the holidays.

Stark says this upcoming Thanksgiving will be extra special with her family, in their new kitchen.

“It’ll be the first time I can cook, you know we had a toaster oven, a barbeque and that’s it basically for the past six years,” Stark said.

Stark also received gift cards from the United Way of Long Island to Stop & Shop and Home Depot.

“It really means a big deal, because home is everything, you know home matters, for all of us our security place, and without it, life doesn’t seem complete,” President and CEO of United Way of Long Island Theresa Regnante said.

Stark showed her gratitude to everyone helping her, including a special plaque, thanking Sanchez.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Belone joined Police Commissioner Geraldine hart to presented Sanchez with a certificate of honor.