Beloved Former Sheriff Served Rockland For Five Decades
New City, NY (Aug. 15, 2018) – The Rockland County Legislature fully supports designating the “Sheriff James F. Kralik Public Safety Complex” to honor the beloved law enforcement officer who served Rockland for five decades.
The complex will encompass the current Sheriff’s campus, which includes the administration building, the jail and the backup radio room. It will not affect the names of the individual buildings.
The effort to name the complex in honor of Kralik was put forward by recently-retired Legislator Ilan Schoenberger and current County Sheriff Louis Falco, III.
Kralik died on July 24, 2017. County law requires at least one year to pass after a person’s death before a county-owned facility or property can be named after them. The deceased’s family must also approve the naming, as Kralik’s has, and public notice must be posted at the location in advance; no opposition was submitted.
“This is a great tribute to Jim because it acknowledges his lifetime of service to Rockland County and its residents,” Michelle Kralik said. “On behalf of myself and the rest of my family, I thank everyone for honoring my husband.”
Legislator Aron Wieder, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said the naming of the complex was a fitting way to publicly acknowledge the life’s work of a true public servant.
“Jim Kralik looked after the residents of Rockland County like they were members of his own family,” Legislator Wieder said. “Naming the complex in his honor is a way for us to acknowledge his service now and a way for future generations to be made aware of his significant contributions.”
Former Legislator Schoenberger first worked with Kralik as an assistant county attorney and then as County Attorney. He recalled that even during a crisis, Kralik’s calm demeanor could prevent panic and focus efforts on identifying solutions to the issues.
“He contributed greatly to the betterment of Rockland County and the safety of its residents,” Schoenberger said. “When the Brink’s tragedy struck, he was right there to handle our security needs and he recognized early on that we had entered a new digital age that was going to require new and innovative solutions to ensure public safety.”
Kralik launched the Sheriff’s Mounted Unit and expanded the specialty teams needs to meet new demands, including the River Patrol, the Bomb Unit, the Arson Unit, and a Forensic Computer Unit. He boosted security efforts after the Brink’s robbery in 1981 and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and was recognized nationally as a security expert, in part because of his ability to promote improved coordination between law enforcement agencies at the local, state and national levels.
Some of his other initiatives included developing a handbook, “Focusing on Fair Treatment for All,” which is used a training manual on cultural diversity; brought to fruition a local Triad partnership to help reduce crimes against senior citizens; and established the Computer Aided Rescue Program (CARE) for children.
For Sheriff Falco, Kralik and his life’s work epitomized what it meant to be a mentor and a law enforcement officer.
“He did 50 years of law enforcement here in Rockland County and always served the public with distinction and honor,” Sheriff Falco said. “He was there for everybody regardless of your political party, your gender, the color of your skin. He was my mentor and I’m proud to have served with him. Even after he retired, he was only a phone call away with advice and support and I can truly say that he served Rockland County until his last days.”
The Legislature voted 12-0 Aug. 7 in favor of the designating resolution. It has been sent to the County Executive, who has 21 days to approve it, veto it or return it unsigned. The deadline is the close of business on Aug. 29.