A familiar face is back in Sag Harbor. Pablo Londono, who was hired as a traffic control officer shortly after graduating from Bridgehampton High School in 2009, has returned to the village police department as a full-fledged member of the force.
Officer Londono, who was hired earlier this month, had spent the past year with the Port Authority Police Department, where he was stationed at LaGuardia Airport. Prior to that, after graduating from the Suffolk County Police Academy, he had worked as a part-time officer in Southampton Village for five months after leaving Sag Harbor in 2018.
“My whole family is happy to have me back here,” he said this week. “It’s nice to be back where I grew up, too.”
Officer Londono gained a reputation as a friendly and helpful TCO during the first phase of his career in the village, but he said it had been his dream for years to become an officer in the village.
“On my first day, I felt like I was right at home,” he said. “I’m really lucky to be a part of this team.”
Officer Londono, who was born in Colombia, came to the United States with his sister in 1998 when he was 7 years old to join his mother and older brothers and sisters. “I didn’t speak a word of English, not a word,” he said. “But we knew we were coming to America to better our life.” He became a citizen in 2017.
“He is the epitome of the American Dream: Work hard for what you want and it can happen,” said Sag Harbor Police Chief Austin J. McGuire. “Pablo is truly one of the hardest working kids, and I’m so happy he decided to come back.”
So hard working, in fact, that even though he passed the Suffolk County Police Academy, he had to pass the Port Authority Police Academy as well. That’s because when you work for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, you serve as a police officer in two different states and must learn the laws of both states.
“The Port Authority police department is the largest transportation police department in the country, and very well known for being excellent at what they do,” said Chief McGuire. “When he had an opportunity to come back, I told him I wouldn’t be offended if he stayed at the Port Authority, but he told me he wanted to come home and be a police officer in Sag Harbor.”
Officer Londono said working at LaGuardia was a far cry from life in the village, with mobs of people trying to navigate their way around an airport that is seemingly perpetually under construction.
During his year on the job, he said he dealt with his share of suspicious, untended bags and the disturbances that followed when passengers got a little too irate over canceled flights and lost luggage.
Mostly, he said, it was about assisting people in getting from point A to point Z. “It’s a very busy place,” he said. “And you want to make sure people get into the right cabs or on the right bus.”
He said he looked forward to continuing that kind of community service in the village.
“Here you really can feel like you are making a difference,” he said.
Residents of Sag Harbor will likely remember Officer Londono from a steady stream of part-time jobs he held both as a high school student and afterward. He worked at the Cove Deli and the Getty gas station before becoming a bus boy and runner at the American Hotel, a job he held for several years concurrently with his TCO job.