New York City Police Department

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Photo Press Release | No. 2009-PH03

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Press Release # PH-03
Thursday, March 12, 2009

NYPD Commemorates 100th Anniversary of the Line of Duty Death of Lt. Joseph Petrosino

The New York City Police Department today commemorated the 100th anniversary of the line of duty death of NYPD Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino with a wreath laying ceremony at Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Park on Kenmare Street.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly was joined at the ceremony by members of the Petrosino family including his granddaughter Ms. Susan Burke, his grandnephew Joseph Petrosino, and his great grandnephew New York City Police Officer Joseph M. Petrosino, as well as ranking NYPD executives of Italian descent, including, 1st Deputy Police Commissioner George A. Grasso, Chief of Department Joseph J. Esposito, Chief of Patrol Robert J. Giannelli and Chief of Transportation Michael Scagnelli.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Lieutenant Petrosino's heroic career reminds us of what is timeless about leadership and policing, an unswerving dedication to the mission of public safety.”

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Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Ms. Susan Burke, Police Officer Joseph Petrosino, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Petrosino

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Lt. Joseph Petrosino

(Photos: NYPD DCPI)

Giuseppe “Joseph” Petrosino

Giuseppe “Joseph” Petrosino was born in Salerno, Italy, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1873.

Petrosino joined the Police Department in 1883 and was promoted by Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt to Sergeant of Detectives in 1895. Petrosino was later named lieutenant and given command of the new Italian Squad, a unit created to combat the crime organization known as the Black Hand. Under his leadership, several thousand arrests were made, and more than 500 offenders were sent to prison. Crimes against Italian-Americans dropped by fifty percent. Petrosino was killed while on assignment to Palermo, Sicily.

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