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PR- 225-05
June 9, 2005


6 Medals of Honor, 1 Purple Shield, 21 Police Combat Crosses, and 7 Medals of Valor Awarded

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today honored 35 members of the NYPD at the 2005 Medal Day ceremony by awarding six Medals of Honor, one Purple Shield, 21 Police Combat Crosses, and 7 Medals of Valor.  The Mayor and Commissioner were joined by family members of the honorees at the ceremony at One Police Plaza.

“I am honored to stand today with members of the NYPD to honor those who have served New York City with extraordinary bravery and heroism.” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Those who we honor today have performed their duties with valor and professionalism and are one of the reasons why New York remains America’s safest big city. They are also the reason crime is at levels not seen since the 1960’s.  I congratulate today’s honorees and thank them for putting their lives on the line day in and day out to protect their fellow New Yorkers.”

“There are acts of heroism every day in the Police Department,” said Commissioner Kelly. “The ones we recognize on Medal Day are among the more remarkable. The resolve and courage of the NYPD are documented in the lobby of One Police Plaza, where the walls are filled with the names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The NYPD first awarded the Medal of Honor, the Police Department’s highest award, in 1871.  Since then, the NYPD has also recognized the extraordinary performance of duty by presenting the Police Combat Cross, the NYPD’s second highest honor, and the Medal of Valor, the NYPD’s third highest honor.  The Purple Shield was first awarded in 1995 to reflect meritorious service where serious injury or death was incurred in the performance of duty. 

The Medal of Honor was posthumously awarded to Detectives Robert L. Parker and Patrick H. Rafferty, who were murdered on September 10, 2004 while attempting to arrest a career criminal on domestic violence charges.  The Medal of Honor was also posthumously awarded to Police Officer William Rivera, who suffered fatal injuries after falling from a roof while pursuing a burglary suspect.  Other recipients were Sergeant Winston Smith, who defended his fellow officers in the capture of a violent suspect while he was under fire, and then-Sergeant James Gentile and Police Officer William Kennedy, who courageously protected one another and persevered during a gun battle with robbery suspects despite Sergeant Gentile being shot several times.

A Purple Shield was posthumously awarded to Sergeant Keith Ferguson, who suffered a fatal heart attack on January 31, 2004, after coming to the aid of a fellow officer pursuing a suspect on foot.

This year, twenty-one officers received the Police Combat Cross, which recognizes courage and heroism during personal combat with an armed adversary, and 7 officers received the Medal of Valor, which recognizes personal bravery in the face of imminently dangerous or life-threatening situations. Unit Citations were awarded to seventeen commands.

Police Combat Cross:  
Sergeant Robert DeCandia Emergency Service Unit
Retired Detective Craig Hunter Emergency Service Squad 8
Lieutenant Timothy Farrell 101st Precinct
Sergeant John Flynn PBQS Task Force
Sergeant Hassiem Michel 77th Detective Squad
Police Officer Matthew Menze 75th Precinct
Police Officer Lewis Ortiz 75th Precinct
Police Officer Anthony Vidot 75th Precinct
Detective Kevin Keuchler Emergency Service Squad 1
Detective John McCullough Emergency Service Squad 4
Retired Detective Terence McTigue Emergency Service Squad 3
Captain Timothy Bugge CO, PSA 8
Sergeant James Knoebel 73rd Detective Squad
Police Officer James Campa Highway Unit No. 2
Sergeant Kevin Costello 24th Precinct
Captain Kenneth Girven CO, Transit District 4
Police Officer Edward Barrett Patrol Borough Staten Island
Retired Sergeant Thomas LaTorre PBBX Anti-Crime Unit
Police Officer Felix Gross PBBX Anti-Crime Unit
Police Officer Kevin McCarthy PBBX Anti-Crime Unit


Medal of Valor:  
Retired Police Officer Frank Johnson Manhattan Traffic Task Force
Retired Sergeant Gerard Beyrodt Midtown North Detective Squad
Detective Steven Hayden Emergency Service Squad 10
Retired Police Officer Timothy Van Schultz ESU Apprehension Tactical Team
Retired Police Officer Suzanne Johnson 75th Precinct
Sergeant Thomas McLaughlin 107th Precinct
Police Officer John Scollo Narcotics Borough Bronx

Unit Citations:
44th Precinct, 46th Precinct, 67th Precinct, 77th Precinct, Auto Crime Division, Disorder Control Unit, Drug Enforcement Task Force, Fleet Services Division, Gang Division, Housing Bureau PSA 2, License Division, Manhattan Traffic Task Force, Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Training, Parking Enforcement District, PBMS Operations Unit, Property Clerk Division and the Transit Bureau Homeless Outreach Unit.


Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958


Paul Browne (DCPI)   (646) 610-6700

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