Virtual tributes to fallen heroes to replace in-person ceremonies usually held in May.
HAWTHORNE, NY — May 9, 2020 — Westchester County Police will mark National Police Week through virtual means this year as the Covid-19 crisis has caused the cancellation of both its annual awards ceremony and the countywide Police Honor Awards and Memorial Service it hosts each May in White Plains, NY.
The County Police will use its social media channels to pay tribute to its 18 fallen officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. These officers were members of the Westchester County Police or its predecessor agencies – the Westchester County Parkway Police and the Westchester County Sheriff’s Department.
In addition, an online memorial tribute is planned to honor the 88 members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in Westchester County in the last four centuries. Along with Westchester County’s 18 officers, these fallen heroes were members of city, town and village police departments; the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office; and the New York State Police.
“Each May, we generally come together at the Westchester County Center to recall the service and sacrifice of those who gave their lives protecting the people of Westchester,” County Executive George Latimer said. “While we are prevented from gathering in person this year, we will not be prevented from keeping our commitment to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. These fallen heroes, and the loved ones they left behind, will be in our hearts during National Police Week.”
Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said Police Week, which begins Sunday, was also a time to honor all officers serving currently for the risks they have faced during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Police work is a challenging and dangerous profession at all times, but never more than this year. This pandemic has posed an additional and silent threat to police officers along with all essential workers who are on the front lines in this crisis. I salute them for the work they have done to keep Westchester safe,” Gleason said.
The 18 County officers who have died in the line of duty are: Deputy Sheriff Isaac Smith, 1792; P.O. Raymond Tehan, 1925; Special P.O. John Murphy, 1928; P.O. George Segnit, 1929; P.O. Clifton Cypher, 1930; P.O. Michael Erdley, 1933; P.O. Manuel Borgos, 1938; P.O. Reuben Conklin, 1943; P.O. Carlos Bishop, 1946; P.O. John Chabala Jr., 1948; P.O. George Ruthven, 1954; P.O. Francis Bradley, 1960; P.O. James Groark, 1966; Deputy Sheriff William Fitzgerald, 1968; P.O. John Gonda, 1969; Deputy Sheriff Kieran Grant, 1979; P.O. Gary Stymiloski, 1985; and Sgt. Charles Rice, Jr., 2009.
About Westchester County
Westchester County, located in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, covers 500 square miles and has a population of just under a million. Originally home to Native Americans, who were members of the Lenape tribe, it is today a rich mix of many cultures and landscapes. The County is a blend of bustling cities, quaint villages and picturesque towns as well as open spaces and a network of beautiful parks. Westchester is made up of 6 cities, 19 towns and 20 villages.
SOURCE: Kieran O’Leary | Westchester County Police Public Information Officer