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Obituaries

Former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Dies

Richard Dormer
Richard Dormer Photo Credit: Suffolk County Police Department

Longtime retired Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer died at his home in Northport.

Dormer, 79, died on Sunday, April 21, following a three-year battle with cancer, said the Suffolk County Police Department.

Dormer joined the department in July 1963 and was among the first 800 officers in the young department’s history, they said.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1970, the department’s 425th member to achieve that rank. Dormer continued to rise through the ranks before retiring as chief in 1993.

Dormer returned to the department in January 2004 to serve as commissioner, a post he held until the end of 2011.

“Commissioner Dormer dedicated his life to public service, and he should be remembered for his commitment to public safety,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “I extend my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time to his family, including his children, two of whom are continuing his legacy as members of the Suffolk County Police Department, and to the men and women in the department who are mourning his loss.”

Dormer was born in He was born Ireland, in 1940 and never lost his Irish brogue. He moved to the United States when he was 18 to play soccer and began working at Kings Park State Hospital until he became a police officer in 1963.

Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron said, “During the tenure of former Commissioner Dormer, our department made great advances, including the creation of our Homeland Security Bureau, attaining New York State accreditation and incorporating modern concepts to respond to active shooter incidents.”

Following his retirement, he taught criminal justice at Suffolk County Community College and served as the executive vice president of Arrow Security.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Sheila. He is survived by his wife Barbara, sons, Michael Dormer, Richard Dormer and John Dormer, daughters, Kathleen Brady and Bridget Dorme, and eight grandchildren.

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