Pulling a man off the ledge of a 20-story building in Manhattan, pursuing an active shooter in the Bronx, and apprehending a suspect in a Port Authority bombing are a few examples of a typical day in Michael Mannese’s life in law enforcement.
He has worked as a detective in the Emergency Service Unit of the New York City Police Department since 2016. This division serves as the city’s special weapons and rescue unit and is called upon for a wide range of emergency situations throughout the city, from water rescues to saving passengers in motor vehicle accidents to gaining entry on barricaded criminals.
“I love what I do,” Michael says. “Despite the current environment, law enforcement is still an admirable profession. There are daily encounters that officers have with the public that can truly change people’s lives one way or another and there is still that feeling of service to the community that is very fulfilling.”
Michael joined the New York City Police Department in 2008 after graduating from the Police Academy. He worked in three precincts throughout the Bronx before he became part of the Emergency Service Unit. He has extensive training in weapons of mass destruction, narcotics, terrorism, and firefighting, among many other areas of law enforcement and emergency services.
Since 2004, he has also volunteered as a firefighter with the Sparkill-Palisades Fire District and serves as president of the John Paulding Engine Co #1, which protects STAC’s campus and the surrounding community. Michael’s public service career began when he joined his hometown volunteer fire department as a high school student in Marlboro, New York.
When he arrived at STAC, Michael knew he wanted to work in law enforcement, a goal that he became even more passionate about with every criminal justice course he completed. After majoring in criminal justice and history and earning his bachelor’s at STAC, Michael completed a master of public administration with a concentration in ethical leadership at Marist College. He is currently pursuing a master’s in protection management at John Jay College.
In the same way, the experiences of his STAC professors inspired him, Michael is preparing prospective police officers to enter their careers at Bergen Community College, where he teaches criminal justice courses as an adjunct professor.
His advice to future graduates includes setting goals, making game plans to achieve them, and learning from mistakes. “Sometimes reality can be tough,” he says, “but if you go in with a determined mindset, you can get through basically anything.”