Middletown kids treated to Christmas toys

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MIDDLETOWN – It was not the usual assignment for state Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. John Melville was at the Middletown Recreation Center on Thursday to hand out Christmas presents to some 100 city kids.

Melville watches as a young girl enjoys an early Christmas

He enjoyed the event, especially since it was held in a former elementary school in the city. Melville, a Goshen resident, is a former State Police Troop F commander who was in charge of the five-county Mid-Hudson area on the west side of the Hudson River.
Now, as homeland security chief, he works hand in hand with law enforcement around the state. “Since 9/11, the world has changed,” he said.
“New York is obviously a place where we are very concerned with terrorism,” Melville told Mid-Hudson News. “We have a lot of anti-terrorism programs, the police departments and emergency responders across the state do a wonderful job trying to protect New Yorkers and hope to keep it that way.”
Melville said since the terrorist attacks 15 years ago, we are faced with “a new reality that we deal with.”