Former NYPD Detective Michael Sapraicone, a Richmond Hill native and current Long Island resident, on July 24 announced his candidacy for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the 2024 election. Sapraicone hopes to secure the Republican nomination and replace controversial Congressman George Santos.
Sapraicone said he was inspired to run for the position in large part because he feels the district, under the leadership of Santos, has been severely lacking in fair representation. He also believes that his history with the NYPD would help him be an effective leader in Congress and ensure he looks out for his constituents.
“You deal with people every day [in the NYPD] and you become kind of a problem-solver,” Sapraicone told QNS. “Pretty much your whole job as a police officer and detective is having common sense, negotiations, getting things right and listening to people. I think that’s what needs to happen in Congress. It seems that so many members of Congress have their own agendas. They are so worried about their parties and what those party’s policies are, that they kind of neglect their own constituents.”
Sapraicone joined the NYPD in 1980. He was eventually promoted to the rank of detective in 1986. While serving as a detective for the NYPD, Sapriaicone also founded a global security firm, Squad Security, in 1992. In 1999, he was promoted to the highest detective rank, first-grade detective. In 2000, Sapraicone retired from the NYPD, devoting more of his time to growing Squad Security.
Over the years, Sapraicone’s firm has expanded its reach beyond New York City. The full-service security, investigations and protection company is licensed in ten states as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. It employs more than 600 active and retired officers. Last September, Sapraicone sold the business he founded and helped grow.
Some of the issues that Sapraicone intends to prioritize throughout his campaign include public safety and economics. When it comes to public safety, he emphasized the importance of having more officers and more tools for them within the city and state. He also wants to ensure these officers are trained well so that they are better equipped to handle situations for which their services are needed.
When it comes to economics, Sapraicone still believes more needs to be done to further combat inflation. He cited the fact that the cost of certain dairy items like eggs or milk is still expensive for many within the district. He also expressed concern over interest and mortgage rates in the area.
“We need to start talking about looking at the waste and cutting back,” Sapraicone said. “We need to do what’s right for this country, not put it more in debt.”
Sapraicone noted that many within the congressional district feel as though they have been without a representative since George Santos was elected in 2022. With such an abundance of lies that he told during his campaign, many residents of the district now feel betrayed.
“It’s important those people get the representation they need,” Sapraicone said. “We were all deceived back in November of 2022. 142,000 people voted for Santos and had no idea what was going on. What representation have we had? Who’s talking for us and taking a stand for us?”
Another priority Sapraicone emphasized was being able to address and explain social security and Medicare for senior citizens. He believes it is important that these people are able to understand how to maximize the use of these benefits after dedicating much of their lives to their work.
“I’ve done good in the police department and I’ve done good in private industry, I think I can do this and try to make a difference,” Sapraicone said. “Try to work with everybody and get some things done.”
Sapraicone grew up in Richmond Hill and attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing. For the past 32 years, he has resided on Long Island. Today, he lives in Oyster Bay with his wife Eileen. He has five children and five grandchildren.
“My campaign for Congress is about honest public service and hard work because my neighbors in Queens and Long Island deserve nothing less,” Sapraicone said. “I’m running for Congress to return integrity and a respected voice to the office and to focus on issues like public safety, border security and fiscal responsibility to get our country back on the right track. I am also laser-focused on delivering for the constituents of the 3rd District on Long Island and in Queens. They have been unfairly neglected. Constituent service will be a cornerstone of my campaign and time in office. And I am prepared to work across the aisle to get things done and end the dysfunction in Washington.”
In addition to serving as a detective for the NYPD and founding Squad Security, Sapraicone served as president of the Seaford Union Free School District Board of Education and chairman of the board emeritus at Holy Cross High School. He is currently part of the boards of the Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage, Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital, Catholic Youth Organization and the Columbus Citizens Foundation.
Prior to joining the NYPD and becoming a detective, Sapraicone attended CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and served in the United States Navy, receiving an honorable discharge.