WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- The Westchester County law enforcement community gathered Thursday at the County Center in White Plains to pay tribute to fallen officers and honor current officers for outstanding police work performed in the past year.
The annual Police Memorial Day and Honor Awards ceremony was presided over by County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Public Safety Commissioner George N. Longworth. The names of 86 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in Westchester were read aloud and taps were played to honor their memory.
Astorino noted that the names of Yonkers Police Lt. Roy McLaughlin and Yonkers Police Officer Anthony Maggiore were formally added to the county’s Roll Call of Honor during the ceremony. The two men died in recent years of illness contracted while serving at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
“During some of our nation’s darkest hours, at a time when no one knew if another attack was imminent, they headed toward the danger because they wanted to help,” Astorino told the 300 people in attendance. “It is brutally sad that their service would make them ill and cost them their lives.”
The county executive noted that the events of 9/11 continue to claim the lives of police officers long after the attacks, noting that 142 officers in New York State have died of cancer and other diseases linked to service at Ground Zero.
Longworth said, “All 86 officers on our Roll of Honor gave their lives protecting others. Their bravery and selflessness continue to inspire all who serve today.”
In the awards portion of the ceremony, 38 law enforcement officers were honored for acts of bravery, investigative skill and lifesaving actions that occurred between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010.
For the six-month period from April 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2016, awards were presented to:
Detective Sgt. Charles Dematteo, and Detectives Dale Hughes and Nicholas Servidio, Yonkers Police Department; and Investigator Robyn Arias of the Westchester District Attorney’s Office for their dedication, persistence and intelligent work police during a complex investigation into a shooting in Yonkers in Sept. 2015. Four persons were eventually identified and charged to conclude the challenging investigation.
Sgt. Anthony Kressevich, Detectives Jamar Cunningham and John Heffner, and Police Officers Frank Madera, Derek Longo and Paul Perpall of the White Plains Police Department Narcotics Unit for their successful eight-month investigation into increased heroin sales occurring in the city.
Police Officers Isai Moreira and Wilberto Saez of the Westchester County Police Marine Unit for their quick actions in saving the lives of two men who jumped into the Hudson River without flotation devices after their boat caught on fire on Aug. 27. After rescuing the pair, the officers used their patrol boat’s fire suppression equipment to extinguish the fire.
For the six-month period from Oct. 1, 2016, to March 31, 2017, awards were presented to:
- Police Officers Stephen Betz and Adam Mietlowski of the Dobbs Ferry Police Department for the professional response, bravery and restraint they demonstrated on March 12 when they went to a home on a report of an unconscious female and were confronted by a man with a shotgun. The officers were able to take cover, defuse the situation and take the suspect into custody, averting a potential tragedy. Their actions also enabled EMS personnel to quickly render medical aid to the victim.
- Sgt. Kevin Perri and Detectives Vincent Marion, Michael McKenniss, Isabel O’Rourke and Joseph Savoca; New Rochelle Police Department; Detectives Mark D’Elia and Daniel O’Malley, Greenburgh Police Department; Sgt. Matthew Kiernan, Eastchester Police Department; Detective Patricia Arcesi, Scarsdale Police Department, and Senior Investigator Michael Occhicone of the Westchester District Attorney’s Office for their successful investigation into an organized burglary ring and the arrest of multiple suspects. Hundreds of pieces of jewelry, computers and other property were recovered.
- Troopers Glen Williams and Dermont Summers for saving the life of a woman on Dec. 19 who was threatening to jump from the Tappan Zee Bridge. The troopers had to climb over the bridge railings on to a narrow ledge to reach the woman and brought her to safety though she struggled against them.
- Detective Capt. Joseph Monaco, Detective Lt. Anthony Chiarella, Detective Sgt. Brian Moran, Police Officer Christopher Dematteo and Detectives Darryl Benjamin, Javier Lugo, Megan Madaus, Thomas Marello, Brian Menton and Marvin Oakley of the Yonkers Police Department and FBI Special Agents Brendan Kenney and Karma Smith for their successful investigation into a commercial burglary ring that was operating in Yonkers, throughout Westchester and adjacent counties, and in Connecticut. Following weeks of investigation and surveillance, multiple suspects were arrested and large amount of property from burglaries were recovered.