For Immediate Release
January 26, 2024
HAUPPAUGE, NY—Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine today announced new leadership for the Suffolk County Police Department. Robert Waring will remain in the commissioner’s role, to which he was appointed in January 2024, and will continue to serve as Chief of Department. He will be joined by Kevin Catalina as Deputy Police Commissioner, and Belinda Groneman as Deputy Police Commissioner. Groneman is the first Latina to serve as in that position in the department’s history.
“The dedicated men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department are ready for new leadership, and this team ushers in a new era in Suffolk County law enforcement,” said Romaine. “I want to thank them for accepting these positions, which come with great responsibilities to every resident and member of the force.”
Waring, a 37-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, most recently served as Chief of Department – the highest sworn position in the department. During his more than three-decade career, Waring has held supervisory roles in every division in the department including serving as Chief of Patrol, Chief of Operations, Commanding Officer of the Third Precinct and Commanding Officer of the Precinct Detective Bureau.
Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney supports the appointments.
“The leadership team announced by County Executive Romaine is excellent and the District Attorney’s Office is committed to doing everything in our power to assist them in achieving their mission. Commissioner Rob Waring is a 37-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, and the highest-ranking uniformed officer for the past two years,” said Tierney. “Given that we are currently facing a crisis of epidemic proportions with fentanyl overdoses, and other significant public safety challenges, keeping a steady and experienced leader in charge is important. I thank County Executive Romaine for his partnership in helping to keep Suffolk County safe."
“I am truly honored County Executive Romaine has asked me to remain in the Commissioner’s role,” said Waring. “I have had a long, incredible career with this great department, and it is the highlight of my career to lead these fine men and women, who put their lives on the line every day to keep every Suffolk County resident safe.”
Kevin T. Catalina has served as Undersheriff of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office from 2018 to the present, where he has been responsible for the oversight of the Police Division, and the Corrections Division Intelligence Bureau, which includes a team of 30 investigators and a unit of highly skilled analysts.
He has 27 years of experience as a uniformed member of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), where he held the positions Deputy Chief and commanding officer of multiple units, including the 44th Precinct, Gang Division, Patrol Borough Manhattan North and Intelligence Bureau Operational and Analytical Section.
From March 2016 through August 2017, Catalina served as Deputy Chief and Executive Officer/Operations Commander of the Patrol Borough Manhattan North, where he was responsible for directing operations for twelve precinct commands and approximately 2,500 uniformed officers within the geographical boundaries of the borough.
He was also responsible for logistical planning and site security for all large events in Manhattan North (i.e. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City Marathon). He served as the Deputy Chief and Commanding Officer of the Intelligence Bureau Operational and Analytical Section from August 2017 through July 2018, where he oversaw all counterterrorist operations and investigations within the NYPD Intelligence Division. He supervised approximately 300 highly trained detectives and civilians, with the primary objective of identifying and targeting individuals and groups suspected of terror related activities. He has travelled nationally and internationally to lecture and advise local municipalities on terrorism and site security.
"I am eager to continue serving the people of Suffolk County and I want to thank Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine for trusting me with this opportunity", said Catalina. "I am looking forward to working alongside Commissioner Waring and Deputy Commissioner Groneman to make Suffolk a safer place for all."
Belinda Groneman is an 18-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, retiring as Special Assistant to the Police Commissioner. She is a seasoned professional administrator and executive with a focus in law enforcement, shared governance, community relations, workforce development and continuous improvement for nearly four decades. She most recently served as the Law Enforcement Coordinator and Congressional Aide to former United States Congressman Lee Zeldin from 2015-23. In her role, she was responsible for the Congressman’s security detail and was the office’s liaison to various federal law enforcement agencies. She additionally is involved in community organizations including the Suffolk County Community College Foundation Board, Pronto of Long Island, Inc., American Cancer Society and Islip Food for Hope.
“I am prepared to take on this new role, work closely with Commissioner Waring and Deputy Commissioner Catalina and all of my brothers and sisters in the Suffolk County Police Department,” said Groneman. “I thank County Executive Romaine for his confidence and trust in our new leadership team.”
The appointments also have the support of the county’s major law enforcement organizations.
"County Executive Romaine has selected an outstanding leadership team for the SCPD. It's a mix of proven experience coupled with outside perspective,” said Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Lou Civello. “This will allow us to innovate and break new ground while maintaining the character of our suburban police department. We look forward to working with the new Commissioner and his deputies".
“Commissioner Waring is a great choice to lead the department, and Catalina and Groneman bring strong leadership and law enforcement experience to their new posts,” said Superior Officers Association (SOA) President Jim Gruenfelder. “Since day one Ed Romaine has shown how much he cares about law enforcement, and he has now formed a leadership team that will focus on keeping our officers and communities safe.”