Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today commemorated the lives of nine New York City Police officers who perished after performing rescue, recovery and clean-up work following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The names of Inspector Donald G. Feser, Lieutenant Carlos J. Ocasio, Sergeant Alex W. Baez, Detective Corey J. Diaz, Police Officer Frank M. Bolusi, Police Officer Robert C. Grossman, Police Officer Richard Jakubowsky, Police Officer Robert Oswain, and Police Officer Robert Zane were inscribed on the granite Police Memorial Wall in Battery Park and unveiled during a ceremony today.
“In the weeks and months after September 11th, hundreds of members of the NYPD devoted long hours to rescue and recovery efforts amid the smoking wreckage there – and also at the Fresh Kills landfill,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “And tragically, in the years since, some have seen their health decline, and even fail. Today, we add the names of nine New York City police officers to the honor roll here. We honor their bravery and devotion and their unselfish sacrifice. They truly exemplify what is finest about our Finest. May God truly bless their memories and may God bless and protect all those who wear the uniform of the finest police force in the world.”
“The nine men we honor today gave their lives participating in the largest rescue and recovery operation in the City’s history,” said Commissioner Kelly. “They were also sons, husbands and fathers, and they patrolled our streets, subways, and housing developments, driving down crime and making the city safer for millions. Thanks to the Battery Park City Authority, people from around the world will know now of their exceptional commitment to duty, but their legacy extends well beyond memorials like this one. We owe each of them tremendous gratitude, not only for the vital roles they played in the aftermath of September 11th, but for their many years of distinguished service.”
Inspector Donald G. Feser served in the 50th Precinct, Highway Division and Manhattan Traffic Task Force. He was twice recognized for Excellent Police Duty and received an Honorable Mention during his 37-year career. A member of the Manhattan Traffic Task Force since 1995, he served as its Executive Officer and Commanding Officer, and survived his vehicle being crushed when the Twin Towers fell. Inspector Feser was instrumental in helping emergency vehicles pass and civilians escape on September 11th. Inspector Feser was 67.
Lieutenant Carlos J. Ocasio served the NYPD for 24 years, working in the 44th Precinct, Bronx North Narcotics Division, 28th Precinct, 34th Precinct, Patrol Borough Manhattan North, the Patrol Services Bureau, and the Training Bureau before his death in 2009. Lieutenant Ocasio also was the recipient of a commendation for Excellent Police Duty. Lieutenant Ocasio was 49 years old.
Sergeant Alex W. Baez spent 22 years in the NYPD in the 72nd Precinct, Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Task Force and 84th Precinct before his retirement in 2005. He effected 104 arrests, half of which were felonies, and was recognized six times in his career for Excellent Police Duty and three times for Meritorious Police Duty. Sergeant Baez was 50 years old.
Detective Corey J. Diaz was a 19-year member of the NYPD until his death in October 2009. Detective Diaz worked in the 28th Precinct, Narcotics Division, Brooklyn North Narcotics and the Organized Crime Control Bureau’s Investigative Support Division. He served as an undercover officer in Brooklyn North, where his accomplishments included holding a robbery suspect for police before returning to his intended assignment, undetected. Detective Diaz was 40 years old.
Police Officer Frank M. Bolusi served the NYPD for 17 years, working in the 66th Precinct, Police Service Area 4, 71st Precinct, Brooklyn Courts, the Employee Management Division, 120th Precinct and Staten Island Housing Unit where he was the senior police officer and mentor on the third platoon. Officer Bolusi was 49 years old.
Police Officer Robert C. Grossman worked in the 28th Precinct for all 12 of his years with the NYPD, effecting 146 arrests and receiving two Meritorious Police Duty recognitions in that time. Officer Grossman was a founding member of the Community Policing Unit in the 28th Precinct, to which he was assigned in 1994. Officer Grossman was 41 years old.
Police Officer Richard Jakubowsky spent 20 years with the NYPD working in the City’s subway system in the Bronx, as a member of District 11 and the Transit Bureau Bronx Task Force. He made 242 arrests and received one commendation for Excellent Police Duty and two for Meritorious Police Duty before his retirement in 2005. Officer Jakubowsky was 46 years old.
Police Officer Robert Oswain served the NYPD for 10 years as a member of the 47th Precinct until his death last May 15th. He made 125 arrests including 21 felonies, and was remembered for influencing the safe release of an infant held by an emotionally disturbed person, who was armed with scissors. Officer Oswain joined the Department at age 32, with a degree from the State University of New York at Albany. He was among the many officers who conducted perimeter security at Ground Zero for months after the attacks. Officer Oswain was 42 years old.
Police Officer Robert Zane worked in the Transit Bureau for 16 years before his death in May 2009, effecting 122 arrests during his service in Districts 1 and 4 in Manhattan and 33 and 34 in Brooklyn. Officer Zane volunteered at Ground Zero, searching for survivors and remains. He also was the recipient of a commendation for Excellent Police Duty. Officer Zane was 45 years old.
Twenty-three members of the NYPD were killed on September 11, 2001. Since then, 50 officers and a civilian auto mechanic have been recognized as having died of illnesses developed after work they performed at the World Trade Center site and Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, where debris from the destruction was received and processed.
Created in honor of those who lost their lives in the line of duty, the Police Memorial is located at Liberty Street and South End Avenue and was dedicated in October 1997. The granite wall with the names of officers and the dates they died are inscribed, a small fountain and the open pool are referred to as the “Sacred Precinct” by its architect Stuart Crawford.