Officer Mark Collins, 11-year Patrol Officer and active Volunteer Firefighter with the Bellmore Fire Department is this issue’s Double Duty Officer as he exemplifies the dedication to Long Island communities and courage of the Suffolk County PBA members.

collinsOn March 11, Officer Collins and two fellow officers from the 2nd precinct “anti-gang unit” were out on a typical night patrolling Huntington Station. The officers pulled over a car for a routine traffic stop. While approaching the vehicle, Collins recognized one of four gentlemen in the car as a well- known gang member. Collins firmly requested that the suspect get out of the car, and when the suspect did, he fled. Collins chased him on-foot for several miles; the pursuit finally ended when Collins caught him on the front lawn of a home near Jericho Turnpike.

Collins attempted to use his Taser gun on the suspect, but the suspect’s clothing prevented the prongs from connecting to his body. Collins continued to physically struggle with the suspect on the ground, while attempting to restrict him with handcuffs. The perpetrator fired several rounds from the gun he had in his possession. Two rounds went right through the window of the neighbor’s home and two hit Collins directly, one penetrating his neck and the other his hip. Collins then managed to drag himself to the side of a cement stoop for cover, and radioed for help. His partner arrived just in time to assess the life-threatening wounds and call for medical aviation assistance.

K0Zy-JzkgUzY1Jku7QoDxlP6Tfgeaa0z9rQdJBlGTBw5_7_VHmJ9hh9oH3P7gSenNBN6kInVJSQtXriD6l_MyABbZGyPRdq0ScH29Ef8ms4=s0-d-e1-ftCollins was struggling to remain conscious so that he could communicate and confirm the perpetrator’s identity. In the midst of wrestling with the suspect, Officer Collins, a humble man and courageous Officer, managed to obtain his ID and handed it to his partner.

Collins was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center where the trauma team was ready and able to stabilize him. Collins survived within a literal inch  of his life: The bullet in his neck just missed his carotid artery.

Everyday, Officer Mark Collins exemplifies the heroism demonstrated by Police Officers. Every day, they put their lives in jeopardy, committed to protecting us from harm. Collins risked his life trying to apprehend a well-known gang member who had previously been involved in serious crimes.

Officer Collins is striving to return to full capacity patrol in Suffolk County. He is also working towards being in full service, once again, to the Bellmore Fire Department, where he volunteers and assists in saving people from other life-threatening emergencies. Mark Collins’ heroic work serves all of Long Island.

The Suffolk County PBA commends Officer Collins for his incredible bravery on patrol and also recognizes his commitment and service as a Volunteer Firefighter. The residents of Long Island thank you, Mark, for your courageous and selfless acts of duty. Godspeed.