FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG GRANTS CITY AWARD FOR HEROIC ACTS TO AUXILIARY POLICE OFFICERS EUGENE MARSHALIK AND NICHOLAS PEKEARO AND DETAILS BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO THEIR FAMILIES
$66,000 Heroic Awards Effective Immediately – City Will Help Families Apply to State and Federal Authorities for Remainder of $411,000 in Benefits
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today on his weekly radio show that he is granting a special award for heroic acts that includes a payment of $66,000 to the families of fallen Auxiliary Police Officers Eugene Marshalik and Nicholas Pekearo who died in the line of duty this week, and that the City will assist the families with the application processes for other State and Federal benefits. With the City benefits, these will total up to approximately $411,000 for each family. The City of New York announced yesterday morning that the Police Department is burying the officers with full honors and paying for the cost of the funerals.
“These two brave men gave their lives for our City while working on a volunteer basis,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Since they are not eligible for the line of duty death benefits granted to police officers, we are taking other steps to provide some compensation for the families. We will do everything we can to get them all the benefits they deserve. But having said that, it’s just money. It doesn’t bring back their lives, and we continue to share their grief.”
“When the killer complied with an order by Auxiliary Officers Pekearo and Marshalik to drop his bag, they deprived him of a second gun and 90 additional rounds of ammunition,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “The fact that more people were not killed in Greenwich Village that night is in no small measure due to their heroic actions.”
The Mayor announced that he is granting the City award for heroic acts, a discretionary award outlined in the New York City Administrative Code. The award is eligible to individuals, other than peace officers, who sustain death or injuries while attempting to prevent the commission of a crime, preserve the peace or prevent public disturbances. The $66,000 award can be given to parents of the deceased.
The City is also in the process of applying for benefits under the Federal Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, that offers an approximately $295,000 payment. The Federal program provides such a one-time death benefit payment to the eligible survivors of public safety officers who die from duty-related traumatic injuries. The Federal definition of public safety officer includes those who are not compensated, including volunteers such as Auxiliary Police. The City will also assist with benefits to be awarded under the State Workers' Compensation Law that will offer a payment of approximately $50,000, from the City treasury, for civilian employees, including unpaid Auxiliary Police, who die while serving the City.
The funeral for Auxiliary Police Officer Nicholas Pekearo will be held on Saturday March 17, 2007 at Redden’s Funeral Home, 325 West 14th Street, New York, NY. The funeral for Auxiliary Police Officer Eugene Marshalik will be held Sunday March 18, 2007 at I.J. Morris Funeral Home, 1895 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn NY.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)