Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today presided over a Police Memorial Day ceremony honoring 12 fallen New York City Police Officers. Nine men and two women were recognized who died of illnesses that they developed after the rescue, recovery and clean-up work they performed following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Police Officer Omar Edwards was killed by police fire last May. His name and those of Inspector Richard Winter, Lieutenants Brian Mohamed and Gerald Rex, Detective Michael Morales and Police Officers Daniel Conroy, Renee Dunbar, Louise Johnston, Vito Mauro, Gary Mausberg, Christopher McMurry and Robert Nicosia were added to those of other fallen officers whose sacrifices are commemorated on plaques in the Police Memorial Lobby inside Police Headquarters.
“Every day, New York's Finest face down unimaginable dangers so the rest of us can live safely and freely,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The memorial wall in One Police Plaza stands as a testament to the spirit of service and sacrifice that fuels New York's Finest. As a result of their work, New York is the nation's safest big city, with crime now nearly 40 percent lower than it was in 2001. Today we honor 12 brave men and women who pursued that noble goal and sadly, lost their own lives. Their names are forever inscribed not only on the memorial wall, but in the hearts of those who knew them.”
“It is said that what we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. Today, we honor the immortal contributions of 12 New York City police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty,” Commissioner Kelly said.
Those members who died of illnesses developed after 9/11 worked in the World Trade Center site and Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where debris from the destruction was received and processed.
Police Memorial Day was established by Congress in 1962 and proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, designating May 15 of each year Peace Officers Memorial Day in honor of the Federal, State, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty; he also designated the week in which it occurs, “Police Week,” in recognition of the service given by the men and women who, “night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws.”
Detective Omar Edwards joined the NYPD in 2007 and was assigned to the Housing Bureau, where he served Police Service Area 2 and the bureau's Impact Response Team. He was killed by police fire May 28, 2009 and posthumously promoted to Detective.
Inspector Richard Winter served the Department for 37 years, retiring in 2004. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, he led the Fleet Services Division through repairs for half of the Emergency Service fleet, in 48 hours. Inspector Winter served the 73rd, 66th, 79th, 109th precincts, Employee Management Division, Communication Division, Electronics Section, Quartermaster Section, the Inter-City Correspondence Unit, Brooklyn South Internal Affairs Unit, Chief of Department's Strategic Analysis Section, Compstat & Trafficstat Units, and Fleet Services Division.
Lieutenant Brian Mohamed joined the Police Department in 1992 and served until his passing in March 2009. Lieutenant Mohamed worked in the 24th Pct, Narcotics Borough Manhattan, Narcotics Borough Bronx, 30th Pct., Internal Affairs Bureau, Police Commissioner's Office and 20th Precinct, where even while undergoing chemotherapy, he continued to work and was remembered for rushing to his fellow officer's aid.
Lieutenant Gerald Rex served the Department for 39 years before his retirement in 2007, working in the 17th, 77th, 120th, and 123rd Precincts and Patrol Borough Manhattan South. He joined the Department after serving in Vietnam. Lieutenant Rex earned 15 medals and achieved an outstanding 27 consecutive years of perfect attendance. His two sons, Anthony and Gerald, are a Sergeant and Detective, respectively, in the NYPD.
Detective Michael Morales also joined the NYPD after serving in Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart. In his 29 years with the Department, he served in the 7th Precinct, Patrol Borough Manhattan South, 67th Precinct Detective Squad, Staten Island “Crimes Against Persons” Squad and 122nd Precinct Precinct Detective Squad. Detective Morales earned eight medals during his service.
Police Officer Daniel Conroy served 19 years with the Department, in the 40th Pct., 111th Precinct, and Property Clerk Division, where he helped to voucher 54,000 items recovered from Ground Zero and was assigned to the City morgue.
Police Officer Renee Dunbar made a remarkable 748 arrests during her 21 years with the Department, which she served in the 40th and 103rd Precincts. Accordingly, Officer Dunbar was the recipient of 16 departmental recognitions, including an honorable mention for her role in a gun battle with, and the subsequent apprehension of, an attempted murder suspect.
Police Officer Louise Johnston served the Department for 21 years in the 67th Precinct and Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Task Force before her death in March 2007. Officer Johnston earned five medals during her career.
Police Officer Vito Mauro served for 18 years in the 67th Precinct and Police Service Area 4, before succumbing in December 2008. He made 131 arrests and earned seven department recognitions.
Police Officer Gary Mausberg effected 117 arrests during his 15 years with the Department, in the Midtown South and 73rd Precincts. He earned two police medals.
Police Officer Christopher McMurry served all 15 of his years with the Department in Brooklyn's 77th Precinct until his passing in December 2008. The North Carolina native served in the Navy before moving to New York to fulfill his goal of becoming an NYPD officer.
Police Officer Robert Nicosia was an instructor in the NYPD Firearms Training Unit and later the Technical Assistance & Response Unit. He served the Department for 20 years. As a member of TARU, Officer Nicosia helped to locate one of the last survivors to be pulled from the pile at Ground Zero. His son, Joseph, wears his shield as a Police Officer in the 103rd Precinct.