GOVERNOR CUOMO HONORS 51 POLICE OFFICERS WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN THEIR SERVICE TO NEW YORK COMMUNITIES
Annual Police Officers' Memorial Remembrance Ceremony Recognizes Fallen Officers
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today honored 51 police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to communities across New York. The officers from nine local and state law enforcement agencies were recognized at the annual Police Officers' Memorial Remembrance Ceremony. The names of the 48 men and three women—the most added in a single year since 2002—join others chiseled into the polished black granite memorial at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The memorial includes 1,504 names of officers from 145 police agencies across the state and six federal agencies.
Coordinated annually by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, the ceremony was attended by roughly 400 people, including local, state and federal law enforcement professionals; elected officials; and family members of the deceased officers, in addition to other friends and colleagues of the fallen. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul attended the solemn services and spoke of the sacrifices made by the fallen officers, as well as the gratitude that is owed to their families.
The following officers were recognized at today's ceremony:
Line of Duty Deaths
Trooper Joel R. Davis of the New York State Police was struck in the chest with a rifle round while responding to a report of a man firing a weapon and persons screaming in the Jefferson County town of Theresa. Trooper Davis retreated toward his patrol vehicle, but died as a result of his wound soon after. (July 9, 2017)
Detective Miosotis P. Familia of the New York City Police Department was sitting in the front passenger seat of a marked mobile command post, when a gunman fired a .38-caliber revolver at her, striking the left side of her head. She died a short time later. (July 5, 2017)
Deputy Sheriff Kevin M. Haverly of the Greene County Sheriff's Office was nearing the end of his shift when his patrol vehicle left the roadway and struck a telephone pole in the town of Ashland. He died at the scene. (Feb. 28, 2017)
Sgt. Robert J. Johnson of the Northville Village Police Department was on his way home after his shift and stopped to assist with a motor vehicle accident. He was fatally struck by a passing motorist. (July 4, 2017)
Police Officer Craig E. Lehner of the Buffalo City Police Department was taking part in a routine diving training mission in the Niagara River when he failed to surface. His body was recovered up river following an intensive search and rescue effort. (Oct. 17, 2017)
Detective Steven D. McDonald of the New York City Police Department was questioning a robbery suspect in Central Park on July 12, 1986, when he was shot three times. He survived the shooting, but was left a quadriplegic and dependent upon a ventilator. He died of complications from the shooting 31 years later. (Jan. 10, 2017)
Ground Zero-related Illness
The names of 24 officers who died from illnesses due to time spent doing search and recovery work in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center were also added to the memorial. The names of officers who died of Ground Zero-related illnesses were first added to the memorial in 2008 and now total 168 individuals. An additional 60 men and women who served with the NYPD and Port Authority Police Department died on the day of the attack.
The memorial also recognizes "historical" deaths, officers who died in service to their communities in prior years, but the agencies for which they worked had not previously submitted applications for their inclusion. The large number of historical deaths being added this year resulted from a New York City Police Department research project that identified additional officers who died in the line of duty from years' past who had not been previously recognized.
The memorial was expanded last year with 10 new panels and space for 630 additional names. Renovations continued this year, resulting in new landscaping, additional seating, new steps and a new walkway to bolster handicapped accessibility. Additional work, including a new reflecting pond, is planned before next year's ceremony. The total project will cost approximately $1 million and represents the second expansion of the memorial originally dedicated in 1991.
To be included on the memorial, an individual must have been a police officer as defined in the state's Criminal Procedure Law or employed as a federal law enforcement officer and performed the same or essentially similar duties as defined in that law. Applications for inclusion on the memorial must be made by the agency that employed the fallen officer.