Obituary: Angelo “Cappy” Capobianco

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Angelo “Cappy” Capobianco, Retired Glen Cove Police Detective

On September 5, retired detective Angelo Capobianco passed at 90 years of age. He was the last survivor of his immediate family. Cappy was born of Italian immigrants in 1930 and raised in Glen Cove’s “Little Italy”, The Orchard. After attending St. Patrick’s Elementary School he graduated from Glen Cove High School, Class of 1948. Heeding the call to service by a local returning WW2 soldier, Cap decided the next day to immediately enlist in the US Army. His musical talents secured him as an Army bugler, traveling the country with the emotional task of playing during military funeral services. In consideration of the bereaved, he originated playing “Taps” at a distance from the gravesite, beyond a hill, and such. It was his last wish.

Prior to becoming a Glen Cove Police Officer, Angelo Capobianco worked in the Nassau County Jail under Sheriff Jesse Combs. His first felony arrest came early in his career with the arrest of a burglary team that frequented North Shore liquor stores. He was sited by Chief Frank McCue. During his career the rise of drug use plagued our City. Chief McCue started a Narcotic Squad to deal with the “Heroin Era”. While part of this squad, he arrested a dealer who had a very large quantity of heroin in his auto. He was then awarded the Gold Shield in 1972 by then Public Safety Commissioner, Michael Martone.

Even before being officially appointed to the Glen Cove Police Department, in 1964, while on police academy patrol, he spotted a stolen vehicle in traffic, resulting in an arrest. Graduating in the ranks of his beloved department to Chief of Detectives, his lengthy arrest record, keen sense of awareness and disarming facade, complete with raincoat, earned him the fitting nickname “Columbo”. He was awarded 57 Departmental Commendations and Citations for exceptional duty and held the highest arrest record in Nassau County for law enforcement. There were also numerous Civic and Community awards bestowed upon him. In addition, for the protection of citizens, Detective Capobianco introduced several law enforcement bills into the state legislature, which were subsequently ratified into law. After a long “beautiful ride” as he described his tenure, he retired in 1997.

Some highlights of his prolific life follow. In 1968, he entered a burning building to rescue five trapped children from a fire. For this, he was commended by our City Father, our Department and then by the Nassau County Executive, Eugene Nickerson who presented him with a Nassau County Commendation Award. In 1969, Cappy organized and was charter member of the Metropolitan Police Conference. He was the largest fundraiser for the Glen Cove Police Benevolence Association, organized the PBA Movie Benefits Raffle and rebuilt the PBA Journal (Gold Pages, etc) to its highest point and subsequent prominence.

Detective Cap was appointed by the City of Glen Cove as Military Historian in the 1970’s. He was proudly dedicated to keeping the community aware of the bravery, sacrifices and contributions of local soldiers, and their families, forever researching and interviewing true-life heroic Glen Covers who were involved in all our Country’s wars. Angelo highlighted each one of our veterans for their contributions to our Nation’s freedom. He selected the soldier to be honored in his beloved City of Glen Cove for the Memorial and Veteran’s Days ceremonies. He always had a deep sense of reverence for the military parades, considering them sacred; he kept to the tradition of beginning precisely at high noon, in memoriam to our Armed Services. His countless published vignettes of these patriots appeared as weekly stories in local newspapers and television shows. In addition, he renamed a street in honor of a veteran who served in the US Army, surviving the infamous “Bataan Death March”.

In 1970, he received the Department’s “Policeman of the Year Award”. He attained 100% apprehension in a three year period for street muggers between 1972 and 1975. He was also honored in 1972 by the Glen Cove PBA at the PBA Ball for “PBA Man of the Year Award” and in 1976 by the Glen Cove Elks Lodge as “Cop of the Year”. He was appointed Editor of the Nassau Police Conference monthly publication, The Blotter in 1976. Cappy was also a columnist for this interdepartmental journal for many years.

Detective Capobianco was especially proud of apprehending three rapists who were responsible for five of the cities most brutal rapes. Cap solely apprehended an armed killer in a murder at the Frontier Diner in 1978 and also assisted in the arrest of four murder cases. In 1978 he received the Nassau County Shield Award for “Cop of the Year”. In 1981 he was awarded the American Legion award for “Policeman of the Year”.

He organized and became a charter member of the Nassau County Police Columbian Society (Italian/American) Police Officers. He was also awarded “Policeman of the Year” by the Nassau County Police Chiefs Association in 1986. In 1988 he was the recipient of PBA Plaque for Outstanding Service upon retiring from the post of Welfare Secretary. In 1995 he received the Nassau County “Boy Scout Council Award” for contributions toward the advancement of Scouting in Glen Cove. In 1991 he was presented with the City of Glen Cove Medal Mayor’s “Award for Veteran Affairs”. In 1997 Angelo was the recipient of Young Simmons American Legion Award for Glen Cove Police Department’s Officer of the Year. He was deeply gratified in creating the traditional annual Christmas Party for the children of the department.

Cappy loved the water. He made it to the qualifying swimming finals for the 1948 Summer Olympics. In later years, Angelo became a certified Nassau County lifeguard, winning seven gold medals for swimming in the Senior Olympics.

He once told a story of how Jackie Kennedy drove up to a store in Glen Cove and asked him if he could watch over Caroline and John, Jr. for a short while. Upon meeting Carolyn years later at her art opening, he explained, “let me tell you when I first met you before”

Detective Capobianco and his late wife, Dorothy, were especially proud of their five children in medicine and raised in Glen Cove; Angela, Michael, Anthony, John (Eagle Scout) and Paul (Eagle Scout), as well as their grandchildren; Peter, Quentin, Ian, Sophia, Christine and Luke.

His wake will be held at McLaughlin Kramer Megiel Funeral Home at 220 Glen Street, Glen Cove on Wednesday, September, 9, 2020 from 3-5pm and 7-9pm. A funeral mass for him will be held the following day at Saint Rocco’s Roman Catholic Church in Glen Cove at 9:30am with private military burial honors to follow in Calverton, NY.

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