NY to honor 20 fallen police officers, 13 World Trade Center-related

By Joseph Spector Lower Hudson Journal News

New York tomorrow will honor 20 police officers who died — including five who died in the line of duty last year and 13 who passed away from Ground Zero-related illnesses.

The 20 names will be added to the New York State Police Officers’ Memorial at Empire State Plaza. The memorial includes 1,360 officers who have lost their lives in service to communities across New York. The memorial opened in 1991.

Since 2008, the memorial has also honored officers who died from Ground Zero-related illnesses. The total is up to 71 officers, including the 13 to be honored tomorrow.

· Police Officer Patricia A. Parete of the Buffalo Police Department died of injuries from a gunshot wound originally received during a fight with an armed suspect in 2006 (Feb. 2).

· Trooper David W. Cunniff of the New York State Police died of injuries he sustained when his patrol vehicle was struck by a commercial vehicle during a traffic stop on the New York State Thruway (Dec. 17).

· Trooper William P. Keane of the New York State Police suffered a fatal heart attack while representing the division at a Commercial Vehicle Inspection championship event in Utah (Aug. 23).

· Trooper Winston I. Martindale Jr. of the New York State Police died of injuries sustained while performing rescue and extrication activities at the site of a plane crash in 2011 (July 24).

· Trooper Ross M. Riley of the New York State Police died of injuries sustained in a fall while performing Special Operations High Angle Rescue Training at Letchworth State Park (Nov. 20).

Thirteen members of the New York City and City of Peekskill police departments who have died of Ground Zero-related illnesses:

· Police Officer Karen E. Barnes , New York City Police Department (Aug. 4, 2011)

· Police Officer Ronald G. Becker Jr., New York City Police Department (Aug. 19, 2012)

· Lt. Steven L. Cioffi, New York City Police Department (Mar. 5, 2013)

· Detective Carmen M. Figueroa, New York City Police Department (May 26, 2013)

· Police Officer Richard G. Holland, New York City Police Department (Mar. 23, 2012)

· Detective John F. Kristoffersen, New York City Police Department (Aug. 25, 2012)

· Police Officer Frank G. Macri, New York City Police Department (Sept. 3, 2007)

· Sgt. Michael J. McHugh, New York City Police Department (July 3, 2012)

· Detective Tommy L. Merriweather, New York City Police Department (Jan. 21, 2013)

· Police Officer Francis T. Pitone, New York City Police Department (Aug. 11, 2013)

· Detective Traci L. Tack, New York City Police Department (Jan. 15, 2013)

· Detective Thomas Weiner, New York City Police Department (May 3, 2003)

· Detective Charles J. Wassil Jr., City of Peekskill Police Department (May 1, 2013)

Two “historical” deaths will also be recognized:

· Game Protector Samuel S. Taylor of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (April 5, 1914).

· Deputy Sheriff William R. Leach of the Yates County Sheriff’s Office (Nov. 8, 1957)

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