FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY HONOR 40 MEMBERS OF POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 2006 MEDAL DAY CEREMONY
Two Medals of Honor, Four Purple Shields, 21 Police Combat Crosses, and 13 Medals of Valor Awarded
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today honored 40 members of the NYPD at the 2006 Medal Day ceremony by awarding two Medals of Honor, four Purple Shields, 21 Police Combat Crosses, and 13 Medals of Valor. The Mayor and Police Commissioner were joined by family members of the honorees at the ceremony at One Police Plaza.
"New York City is America's safest big city because of the dedication and hard work of the men and women of the New York City Police Department," said Mayor Bloomberg. "I am honored to stand today with you in recognition of the members of the NYPD who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect our City. You have performed your duties with honor and valor, and New Yorkers owe you an immeasurable debt of gratitude. I thank you for answering the call to serve and protect our City."
"While medals alone can never reflect fully the dedication to duty of these police officers, they are emblematic of courage beyond the common human experience," said Police Commissioner Kelly. "These officers have served the City valiantly and they deserve our gratitude."
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 Detective Dillon Stewart who was murdered on November 28, 2005 when he and his partner attempted to stop a motorist who had run a red light at the corner of Church and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. Detective Stewart, who was driving at the time, was shot through the heart when the suspect fired five times at the Officers. Despite being mortally wounded, Detective Stewart continued to pursue the suspect to a garage at 100 East 21st Street. Detective Stewart was transported to Kings County Hospital where he succumbed to the gunshot wound that penetrated the left ventricle of his heart.
The Medal of Honor was also posthumously awarded to Detective Daniel Enchautegui, who was murdered on December 10, 2005, when he responded, off-duty, to a burglary in progress next door to his home in the Bronx. Detective Enchautegui encountered two suspects and an exchange of gunfire ensued between the suspects and Detective Enchautegui, resulting in all three men being struck. Detective Enchautegui was transported to Jacobi Hospital where he later died from his gunshot wound.
The Purple Shield was awarded to Sergeant Dorian Burrell and Police Officer Elaine Mamolite. On March 17, 2004, Sergeant Burrell and Police Officer Mamolite both sustained life-threatening injuries when their patrol car was struck by another vehicle and subsequently an MTA bus while responding to a call for assistance in pursuit of man with a firearm.
Police Officer Thomas Mitchell was awarded the Purple Shield. On May 26, 2005, Police Officer Mitchell sustained critical injuries when his patrol car struck a telephone pole while responding to a call for a gunpoint robbery in progress.
The fourth Purple Shield was awarded to Police Officer Maureen Cerati. Police Officer Cerati sustained life-threatening injuries on August 1, 2005 while working the scene of a car accident on the Belt Parkway when a second vehicle traveling on the Parkway hit the concrete divider and struck her.
This year, 21 Officers received the Police Combat Cross, which recognizes courage and heroism during personal combat with an armed adversary, and 13 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 11 commands.Police Combat Cross
Medal of Valor
Stu Loeser / Virginia Lam (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)