Governor Cuomo honors fallen police officers

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) - A local police officer who died in the line of duty was honored Tuesday in a special memorial service remembering police officer and sheriff's deputies who died in service to their communities.

Late Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner's name has been chiseled into the polished black granite memorial at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. His K-9 companion, Shield was on hand for the ceremony.

"This ceremony honors the law enforcement officers throughout New York who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "These brave men and women sadly reached the end-of-watch while protecting their communities and upholding the law. Together, we remain eternally grateful for their service and ever mindful of the sacrifices their families have endured."

The memorial includes 1,504 names of officers from 145 police agencies across New York State and six federal agencies.This year, 51 names, those of 48 men and three women were added to the memorial.

This is the largest group of names added to the memorial in a single year since 2002.

Every officer honored in this year's ceremony fall into one of three categories: line of duty deaths, deaths from Ground-Zero related illnesses, and historical deaths.

Line of Duty Deaths 

  • Trooper Joel R. Davis of the New York State Police was struck in the chest with a rifle round while responding to a report of a man firing a weapon and persons screaming in the Jefferson County town of Theresa. Trooper Davis retreated toward his patrol vehicle, but died as a result of his wound soon after. (July 9, 2017)
  • Detective Miosotis P. Familia of the New York City Police Department was sitting in the front passenger seat of a marked mobile command post, when a gunman fired a .38-caliber revolver at her, striking the left side of her head. She died a short time later. (July 5, 2017)
  • Deputy Sheriff Kevin M. Haverly of the Greene County Sheriff's Office was nearing the end of his shift when his patrol vehicle left the roadway and struck a telephone pole in the town of Ashland. He died at the scene. (Feb. 28, 2017)
  • Sgt. Robert J. Johnson of the Northville Village Police Department was on his way home after his shift and stopped to assist with a motor vehicle accident. He was fatally struck by a passing motorist. (July 4, 2017)
  • Police Officer Craig E. Lehner of the Buffalo City Police Department was taking part in a routine diving training mission in the Niagara River when he failed to surface. His body was recovered up river following an intensive search and rescue effort. (Oct. 17, 2017)
  • Detective Steven D. McDonald of the New York City Police Department was questioning a robbery suspect in Central Park on July 12, 1986, when he was shot three times. He survived the shooting, but was left a quadriplegic and dependent upon a ventilator. He died of complications from the shooting 31 years later. (Jan. 10, 2017)

Ground Zero-related Illness

The names of 24 officers who died from illnesses due to time spent doing search and recovery work in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center were also added to the memorial. The names of officers who died of Ground Zero-related illnesses were first added to the memorial in 2008 and now total 168 individuals. An additional 60 men and women who served with the NYPD and Port Authority Police Department died on the day of the attack.Police Officer Brian R. Abbondandelo, Nassau County Police Department (July 28, 2016)

  • Police Officer Gerard A. Ahearn, New York City Police Department (Oct. 24, 2016)
  • Sgt. Patrick J. Boyle, New York City Police Department (Sept. 15, 2016)
  • Trooper Darryl J. Burroughs Sr., New York State Police (May 25, 2016)
  • Sgt. Patrick T. Coyne, New York City Police Department (March 12, 2017)
  • Trooper Brian S. Falb, New York State Police (March 13, 2017)
  • Police Officer Judy A. Ghandy-Barounis, New York City Police Department (Sept.13, 2016)
  • Detective James T. Giery, New York City Police Department (Sept. 20, 2016)
  • Detective William D. Kinane, New York City Police Department (June 13, 2017)
  • Police Officer William J. King, New York City Police Department (Oct. 25, 2016)
  • Detective Stephen T. Kubinski, Yonkers Police Department (Jan. 6, 2017)
  • Detective Christian R. Lindsay, New York City Police Department (Feb.12, 2017)
  • Deputy Chief James G. Molloy, New York State Police (Jan. 30, 2017)
  • Sgt. Terrence S. O'Hara, New York City Police Department (March 10, 2017)
  • Police Officer Christine A. Reilly, New York City Police Department (Jan. 3, 2017)
  • Detective George C. Remouns, New York City Police Department (April 21, 2017)
  • Lt. John C. Rowland, New York City Police Department (Jan. 26, 2017)
  • Police Officer Wayne J. Sblano, New York City Police Department (June 22, 2016)
  • Police Officer Peter M. Sheridan, New York City Police Department (July 31, 2016)
  • Police Officer Richard E. Taylor, New York City Police Department (March 6, 2016)
  • Police Officer Reginald Umpthery, New York City Police Department (Sept. 19, 2015)
  • Police Officer John F. Vierling Jr. New York City Police Department (Feb. 22, 2016)
  • Sgt. Michael B. Wagner, New York City Police Department (April 27, 2007)
  • Detective Thomas P. Ward, New York City Police Department (July 8, 2016)

Historical Deaths

The memorial also recognizes "historical" deaths, officers who died in service to their communities in prior years, but the agencies for which they worked had not previously submitted applications for their inclusion. The large number of historical deaths being added this year resulted from a New York City Police Department research project that identified additional officers who died in the line of duty from years' past who had not been previously recognized.

  • Patrolman Gerard P. Apuzzi Jr., New York City Police Department (May 4, 1968)
  • Patrolman Charles A. Berberich, New York City Police Department (Nov.15, 1908)
  • Patrolman Gustave A. Boettger Jr., New York City Police Department (July 13, 1922)
  • Patrolman John Branagan, New York City Police Department (Aug. 10, 1869)
  • Detective Charles J. Cameron, New York City Police Department (July 17, 1904)
  • Constable Anson J. Casler, Little Falls Police Department (Sept.17, 1865)
  • Senior Criminal Investigator Stuart C. Cohen, Westchester County District Attorney's Office (April 8, 2007)
  • Sgt. Donald S. Conniff, New York City Police Department (Dec. 12, 2015)
  • Patrolman George Dapping, New York City Police Department (Sept. 24, 1915)
  • Patrolman William H. Galbraith, New York City Police Department (Nov. 8, 1911)
  • Patrolman Thomas F. Gallagher, New York City Police Department (Feb. 8, 1907)
  • Patrolman John E. Hoey, New York City Police Department (Oct. 4, 1901)
  • Patrolman Martin Maloney, New York City Police Department (Sept. 18, 1921)
  • Police Officer William T. Martin, New York City Police Department (April 9, 2011)
  • Patrolman John W. McCormick, New York City Police Department (July 9, 1910)
  • Lt. Daniel C. O'Connor, New York City Police Department (March 14, 1974)
  • Patrolman Bryan L. O'Donnell, New York City Police Department (June 11, 1916)
  • Sgt. Thomas F.J. O'Grady, New York City Police Department (Aug. 24, 1916)
  • Patrolman Dennis Shea, New York City Police Department (Nov. 4, 1902)
  • Game Protector Clarence J. Webster, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Nov. 16, 1944)
  • Patrolman George M. Yeager, New York City Police Department (July 3, 1905)
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