Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Men in Blue

Officer Neil Giansanti. Photo by Val Simon

Officer Neil Giansanti. Photo by Val Simon

By Val Simon

Meet Officer Neil Giansanti

Policing on Marco Island means sand in your boots instead of snow, says Marco PD patrol officer Neil Giansanti.  Giansanti is a former Connecticut State Trooper and fraud investigator for the Florida Department of Financial Services who has been with the Marco PD for a year and a half.

In his relatively brief time on Marco, Giansanti has already had some truly unique calls. He was the officer who netted the bald eagle recently rescued from Shorecrest Canal.  “That was a first,” he says.

“Marco definitely has more service calls, and as a patrol officer I respond to any type of call, from traffic accidents to theft or fraud.”

Giansanti appreciates the wealth of experience that his fellow officers bring to the department.  “There’s a variety of experience from all over the country and many of these guys are former high ranking officers. You know when you go on a call that you are riding with someone who knows what they are doing.”

As someone who lives for his three sons, Giansanti feels lucky to work on a family-friendly police force. Many Marco officers are parents or even grandparents and are happy to share their parenting experience along with what they’ve learned about police work.

“People here have a good understanding of the parenting/work balance,” he says.

His counter-terrorism experience from working as a trooper stationed at the Connecticut state airport thankfully doesn’t apply here.  Giansanti describes his Connecticut experience as “the polar opposite of Marco Island. There is a very paramilitary attitude and a large agency of 1,500.” Not unlike the marines, the troopers wore dress uniforms, participated in marching exercises, and had a rigid structure.

Giansanti’s favorite assignment with the troopers was his K-9 detail. “We went on what was termed ‘hot calls,’” explains Giansanti. These were high-risk and involved situations such as missing children and serving warrants to often hostile recipients.  “In some cases, we saved lives. These were situations I won’t ever forget.”

Whether community policing on an island or rushing to a high-risk call in the city, police work has a common denominator according to Giansanti. “We [policemen] protect and serve. We’re still basically the same, and we don’t do it for the glory.”


 

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