FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES DEATH OF POLICE OFFICER JAMES MCNAUGHTON
Four-year Veteran of NYPD Killed in Iraq while Serving as a Military Police Officer
Police Officer James McNaughton, a four-year veteran of the NYPD, was killed yesterday in Iraq, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today. A US Army Staff Sergeant serving in the Army Reserves, he was shot by a sniper while guarding prisoners at Camp Victory, outside of Baghdad. Officer McNaughton had been serving in the 306th Military Police Battalion, 77th US Army Regional Readiness Command, based at Fort Totten, Queens. He was the first member of the NYPD to be killed in action in Iraq.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that we have lost one of our finest in Iraq,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “James McNaughton made our City safe as a Police Officer and gave his life defending our country. His sacrifice will rightly be recognized as occurring in the line of duty due to recent legislation, an honor which he deserves since there was no limit to his service to New York and the nation. He comes from a family dedicated to protecting our City and protecting the freedoms we enjoy every day. I would like to convey my condolences to his friends and family as we mourn the death of this young hero.”
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, “On behalf of the entire Police Department I also wish to convey my sympathies to the family, friends and fellow Officers of Police Officer James McNaughton, who served his city and died for his country. As the first New York City Police Officer to be killed in action in Iraq, he embodied the motto of the NYPD: Fidelis ad Mortem, faithful until death. He was one of nearly 300 Police Officers on active duty and over 1,000 who are in the military. Officer McNaughton’s service to the Police Department was in his blood, with both parents and his fiancé serving in the NYPD. We will miss him and honor his memory always.”
As a member of the NYPD since July of 2001, Officer McNaughton was assigned to the Transit Bureau where he not only helped drive subway crime down to record lows but also helped protect straphangers from threat of terrorism. Both of his parents have also served in the NYPD; his father, William, is a retired member of the NYPD and his stepmother, Michelle, is a Police Officer currently assigned to the Transit Bureau. There are 273 members of the NYPD who are members of the military and are currently on active duty.
In 2004, Firefighter Christian Engeldrum was killed in Baghdad while serving in the Army National Guard. Mayor Bloomberg then proposed State legislation, which became law, to classify his death as occurring in the line of duty so his family would receive a full pension and death benefits. Subsequent legislation signed by Governor Pataki earlier this year now ensures that Officer McNaughton’s death will also be classified as line of duty and his family will receive a full pension and death benefits, as if he had died wearing the uniform of the NYPD.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)