More than 45 years after he was killed in the line of duty, a late NYPD detective from Maspeth will be honored in his hometown with a street renaming ceremony this Saturday, Dec. 3.
The intersection of 62nd Street and 53rd Drive will be renamed Detective Joseph A. Picciano Way in memory of the 10-year NYPD veteran who was shot and killed by a prisoner he was attempting to transport in the Bronx in February of 1971.
According to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who sponsored the bill to rename the street, Picciano lived in Maspeth with his wife, Theresa, and their three children. He was assigned to the 41st Precinct Detective Squad in the Bronx.
On Feb. 15, 1971, Picciano was fingerprinting a man accused of abducting a 13-year-old boy at the 41st Precinct’s stationhouse. The suspect suddenly began engaged in a physical struggle with the detective, during which Picciano’s service revolver fell to the floor. The suspect managed to grab the weapon and fired two shots into the detective.
Other officers at the 41st Precinct returned fire, killing the suspect. Picciano died of his injuries; he was the first officer in the precinct’s history to die in the line of duty, according to published reports.
This Saturday, family and friends of the fallen detective, along with members of the NYPD, will gather with Crowley at the Maspeth intersection for the renaming ceremony.
“Even though 45 years have passed since this tragedy, the city never forgets our brave men and women who risk their lives every day to ensure that we all can live in a safe and orderly city,” according to the renaming legislation, which Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law in August.