FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER KELLY HONOR 33 MEMBERS OF POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 2008 MEDAL DAY CEREMONY
Four Medals of Honor, 17 Police Combat Crosses, and 12 Medals of Valor Awarded
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today honored 33 members of the New York City Police Department at the 2008 Medal Day ceremony by awarding four Medals of Honor, 17 Police Combat Crosses, and 12 Medals of Valor. The Mayor and Police Commissioner were joined by family members of the honorees at the ceremony at One Police Plaza.
"Through their extraordinary acts of courage, today's medal winners have helped keep New York the safest big city in the country," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The 33 medal winners prove that there are no limits to how far our Finest will go to protect our City, and that they love this city enough to make the ultimate act of self-sacrifice when it's necessary."
"Our ceremony today includes 33 examples of true heroism, stories of how-in an instant-the routine became extraordinary, a single decision became a defining moment, and an officer's instinct became a measure of his character," said Police Commissioner Kelly.
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 awarded posthumously to Auxiliary Police Office Eugene Marshalik and Auxiliary Police Officer Nicholas Pekearo. On March 14, 2008, Auxiliary Officer Marshalik and Auxiliary Officer Pekearo were patrolling on foot in Greenwich Village's 6th Precinct when they were alerted to a shooting in a nearby restaurant. Despite being unarmed, the two Auxiliary Officers pursued the gunman. They confronted the shooter and convinced him to drop a bag containing a gun and 90 rounds of ammunition. The perpetrator pulled out a second gun and shot and killed both volunteer officers. Responding officers ordered the perpetrator to drop his gun. The shooter refused and was subsequently shot and killed.
The Medal of Honor was also awarded posthumously to Detective Russel Timoshenko and awarded to Detective Herman Yan. The officers worked as partners on July 9, 2007 while on patrol in the 71st Precinct in Brooklyn. Driving in their marked police car, the officers observed a suspicious vehicle. After checking the license plate using the laptop in their patrol car, the officers learned that the plate did not match the car. Officer Yan and Officer Timoshenko instructed the vehicle to pull over and exited their patrol car. Just as they got out of their car, numerous shots were fired from the stopped vehicle. Officer Timoshenko was hit twice in the face and fell down. Officer Yan was struck once in the arm and once in the chest where his bullet resistant vest helped save his life. Despite his injuries, Officer Yan returned fire forcing the perpetrators to flee the area. Officer Yan called for help and provided key descriptions and details to the responding officers. Officer Yan was treated for his injuries and released from the hospital after a few days. Officer Timoshenko succumbed to his injuries after five days in intensive care. All three perpetrators were caught after a wide-ranging multi-state manhunt. In a ceremony held on July 27, 2007, Russel Timoshenko was posthumously promoted to Detective First Grade and his partner, Herman Yan, was promoted to Detective.
This year, 17 officers received the Police Combat Cross, which recognizes courage and heroism during personal combat with an armed adversary, and 12 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 various units.
Police Combat Cross
Medal of Valor
Jim Anderson /Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)
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