Chief Hegermiller is December’s Coalition Member of the Month
Riverhead Police Chief Hegermiller is December’s Coalition Member of the Month, representing our Law Enforcement sector since 2012.
Chief David Hegermiller is a 38-year member of the Riverhead Police Department. He is proud to be a “Stanner” and holds a B.S. Degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from the College of Engineering at Stony Brook University. He attended the FBI National Academy in 1995 and received graduate credits from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, for his work in organizational change & development and media relations. He also attended the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Training at Princeton University in 2000.
Chief Hegermiller has held every rank in the Police Department. These include Police Instructor and First Aid/CPR Instructor. He has also been assigned to the Juvenile Aid Bureau and Detective Division. He was second in command since 1993 and attained the rank of Chief of Police in March 2002. In 2006, he wrote the Town’s Hurricane/Severe Storm Emergency Response Plan and is the Town’s Emergency Preparedness Manager.
Chief Hegermiller has brought many programs to Riverhead including Go Girls and Youth Court, the first Youth Court on Long Island. In addition to belonging to numerous organizations, he is a member of the Riverhead Youth Court, East End Partnership for Youth, Council for Unity, and Traffic Safety Committee. He is the past President of the East End Chiefs of Police Association. Chief Hegermiller is married and lives with his wife in Wading River. They are the proud parents of five grown children.
committed to preventing youth SUBSTANCE use
Chief Hegermiller is committed to preventing youth substance use in Riverhead. He currently serves as the Vice President for Riverhead Community Awareness Program’s board of directors (CAP). He is also the point person for collaboration and engagement between the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth and the police department. Chief Hegermiller helped develop a safe and effective method for disposing of unused, unwanted, and expired medication by installing the Town’s first medication drop box and scheduling numerous community-wide medication take back events each year. These initiatives, which began in August 2014, have resulted in the safe disposal of over 7,000 pounds of medication, reducing youth access to prescription drugs.
Chief Hegermiller has also worked with the coalition to establish formal alcohol retail compliance checks, Sticker Shock campaigns, pre-prom policies, and Riverhead’s first comprehensive alcohol policy for public events.
Chief Hegermiller has been instrumental in working with the coalition to achieve positive outcomes that have been recognized on a national level. In 2019, the coalition was named Coalition of the Year by CADCA, as part of its Coalition of Excellence Awards. CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) is the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization. This is the third consecutive Coalition of Excellence Award for the coalition, which also received the award for short-term outcomes in 2017 and intermediate outcomes in 2018.
Riverhead Community Coalition Coordinator Kelly Miloski sat down with Chief Hegermiller to talk about his experience with the coalition. Here are the highlights:
why did you become involved in the coalition?
“It was a natural progression to become involved in the Riverhead Community Coalition after my involvement with the Riverhead Youth Bureau. I served as co-chair for the youth bureau for many years and when it went defunct, I migrated over to Riverhead CAP so that I could continue working with youth in our community. The coalition is very important to me because we implement initiatives to support our youth so that they have a safe, happy, and healthy environment to grow up in.
“It’s a unique organization because we are consistently able to take our vision for a safe and drug-free community and transform it into reality. The group is comprised of members who work together effectively to make a difference in our community. I have watched our hard work pay off over the years. In 2019, we were recognized as the top coalition out of 5,000 coalitions nationwide and internationally for our success with reducing underage drinking in the community. It is amazing, but I am not surprised. I have known it in my heart for a long time that we are making positive changes in the community. I am proud to work with all of the Riverhead Community Coalition members who have also assisted in achieving this national recognition.”
What is your favorite coalition Activity?
“My favorite coalition activity is Project Sticker Shock. This activity aims to reduce underage drinking by limiting youth access to alcohol. The goal is to educate adults who may provide alcohol to youth about the law that prohibits furnishing alcohol to minors. The Riverhead Police Department works with the Riverhead Youth Coalition to place warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcoholic beverages at participating local stores. The youth coalition also partners with local pizza shops to conduct this project. I enjoy Sticker Shock because our youth coalition is involved and it’s great to see how excited they are to get the word out to adults that it is unacceptable to provide alcohol to underage individuals.
“I also love participating in the coalition’s Jeopardy tournament at our annual holiday party. It is always very competitive and I enjoy working with the other coalition members to figure out the answers!”
Name Three Words That Best Describe You.
“Analytical, leader, and multi-tasker.”
Besides Coalition Work, What Else do You Like To DO?
“I enjoy learning and working with math. I also like to run, hang out with family, camping, skiing, hunting, going to the beach, and hanging out on my boat.”
Interested in learning more about coalition membership?
To learn more about joining the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth , contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 ext. 106 or Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.