FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY HONOR SGT. KEITH A. FERGUSON, DETECTIVE ROBERT L. PARKER, DETECTIVE PATRICK H. RAFFERTY AND POLICE OFFICER WILLIAM RIVERA AT NEW YORK CITY POLICE MEMORIAL
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Battery Park City Authority Chairman James Gill today honored Sgt. Keith A. Ferguson, Detective Robert L. Parker, Detective Patrick H. Rafferty and Police Officer William Rivera at a ceremony at the New York City Police Memorial in Battery Park City. Their names were inscribed on the memorial wall.
“Today we add the names of four of New York’s Finest to the memorial wall to ensure that they will forever be remembered for their bravery,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Sgt. Ferguson, Detectives Parker and Rafferty and Police Officer Rivera all exhibited a fearless dedication to protecting their fellow New Yorkers and helped keep New York the safest big city in the nation.”
“Today we pay the highest tribute possible to four of the Department’s very best,” said Commissioner Kelly. “By adding their names to the Memorial Wall, we ensure that anyone visiting here in the future will be reminded of all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that countless New Yorkers and visitors could have better, safer lives.”
On January 31, 2004, Sergeant Keith A. Ferguson, 38, a 17-year veteran assigned the Emergency Service Squad 7 collapsed while running to assist fellow officers in the apprehension of a fleeing suspect in downtown Manhattan. He was transported to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he died a short time later as a result of cardiac arrest. Sergeant Ferguson joined the NYPD on January 20, 1987 and began his career on patrol in the 1st Precinct. He was promoted to Detective in September of 1990 and Sergeant in October of 1998. He also served in Field Training Unit 3, the 67th Precinct, the Narcotics Division, Auto Crime Division, and the Emergency Service Unit (ESU). At the time of his death, Sergeant Ferguson was a member of the elite Hercules Team, a citywide counter-terrorism unit.
Sergeant Ferguson interrupted his NYPD service in 1997 to travel to Bosnia for one year to help establish a civilian police force in the aftermath of unrest in that country. Sergeant Ferguson’s hobbies included motorcycling and traveling the world. Born in Brooklyn, Sergeant Ferguson is survived by his father Victor, a retired NYPD Officer, mother Sonia Cunningham-Hendriks and brother Laird.
On September 10, 2004, Detective Robert L. Parker and his partner, Detective Patrick H. Rafferty, of the 67th Detective Squad, were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a career criminal on domestic violence charges. Although mortally wounded, Detective Parker was able to identify the gunman to a 911 operator. He also directed the dispatcher to a mug shot of the killer located on the dashboard of their police vehicle. Detective Rafferty, who was also mortally wounded, managed to shoot and wound the gunman. These actions assisted in the capture of the killer in less than two hours.
Detective Parker, 43, was appointed to the Department on January 25, 1982, and began his career on patrol in Neighborhood Stabilization Unit 13 in the 81st Precinct. He also served in the Brooklyn North Task Force and the Narcotics Division. He was promoted to Detective in 1987, the same year he was assigned to the 67th Detective Squad where he remained until the time of his death. He made over 500 arrests during his career and was promoted to Detective 2nd Grade in 2000 and posthumously promoted to Detective First Grade. Prior to fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a detective, Detective Parker attended John Jay College and wrestled in a semi professional league under the name Bootsie Parker. Detective Parker who resided in Brooklyn, is survived by his former spouse Loretta Davis, daughter Haadiyah Davis and first cousin Dorothy Thompson.
Detective Rafferty, 39, was appointed to the Department on July 5, 1989 and began his career on Patrol in Midtown Precinct North. He also served in Midtown Precinct South, the 9th Precinct, the Street Crime Unit and the PBQS Anti-Crime Unit. He was transferred to the 67th Detective Squad in 1999, the same year he was promoted to Detective. Detective Rafferty was a consummate family man, attended the University of Central Florida and earned a BA in Criminal Justice. He also had a great love for the outdoors, was an avid hunter and enjoyed family camping trips to the Adirondack Mountains. Det. Rafferty, who made over 400 arrests during his career, was also posthumously promoted to Detective First Grade. He resided in Suffolk County and is survived by his wife Eileen and their three children Kara, Kevin and Emma, his mother Joan and five siblings, Kevin, Brian, Dennis, Henry and Colleen Albanese.
On October 2, 2004, Police Officer William Rivera, 35, a 12-year veteran assigned to the 78th Precinct, was pursuing a suspect in Brooklyn when he fell from the rooftop of a commercial business. The fall resulted in serious injuries to his legs and back. Officer Rivera underwent several surgeries to repair the damage. Almost eight weeks later on November 24, Officer Rivera suffered a seizure due to a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lungs. He died a short time thereafter.
Police Officer Rivera joined the NYPD on Jun 30, 1992. He began his career in the 79th Precinct where he served with distinction for his entire career. He earned several commendations for his work and made over 260 arrests during the course of his career. Police Officer Rivera is survived by his five-year-old daughter Amanda Marie, mother Aurelia, sisters Margie and Evelyn, and fiancé Police Officer Rebecca Rodriguez.
The Police Memorial is dedicated to New York City Police Officers killed in the line of duty; the memorial serves as a symbol of their life and death. There are more than 600 names inscribed on its wall. The design is composed of two distinct parts in which water is used as a metaphor in both. A fountain and a flume represent the life of a police officer. The death of the Police Officer is commemorated in an outdoor room defined by two parallel granite walls and depressed thirty inches below the esplanade.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)