Names Engraved On Wall For Duty
The names of a police officer who was gunned down while responding to a Cypress Hills burglary last December and a Maspeth detective who died from illnesses related to his work at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center were added to the city’s Police Memorial at a ceremony last Thursday, Oct. 11.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly honored 15 fallen members of the NYPD during a ceremony at the memorial located at Battery Park in lower Manhattan. Thirteen of the officers had worked in the rescue and recovery operations following the 9/11 attacks and succumbed to illnesses contracted as a result of their duty.
“Memorials like this one preserve the contributions to public safety made by these outstanding officers who patrolled our streets, subways and housing developments, driving down crime and making the city safer for millions of New Yorkers,” Kelly said. “To all of the family members here today, your loved ones will never be forgotten. They will be remembered forever in the hearts of their colleagues and friends, by the people of New York City and by all who visit here.”
One of the two officers added to the memorial who were killed while responding to criminal incidents in 2011 was Det. Peter Figoski of the 75th Precinct, who was fatally shot in the face while responding to a home invasion in Cypress Hills.
A 22-year veteran of the NYPD who received many accolades throughout his career, Figoski was gunned down early on the morning of Dec. 12, 2011 as he secured a location on Pine Street between Ridgewood Avenue and Etna Street. Five individuals-four of whom hail from Ozone Park-were charged in connection with the deadly shooting and are awaiting trial.
Following his murder, Figoski was posthumously elevated from the rank of police officer to first-grade detective by Commissioner Kelly.
Det. Kevin Czartoryski (pronounced chot-o-riss-kee), a native of Maspeth who was a long-time member of the NYPD Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Public Information, died on Dec. 5, 2010 following a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis and cancer.
The NYPD determined that he contracted those diseases as a result of his long work at the World Trade Center site following the 9/11 attacks.
Like Figoski, Czartoryski joined the NYPD in 1988 and previously worked with the Queens Narcotics Unit and the Hate Crimes Task Force. He was also the commissioner’s liaison to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.
Also among the 13 officers who died from 9/11-related illnesses and were recognized last Thursday was P.O. Robert Ehmer, who was formerly assigned to the 110th Precinct based in Elmhurst.
Opened and dedicated in 1997, the Police Memorial at the corner of Liberty Street and South End Avenue in Battery Park is a granite wall bearing the names of all NYPD members who were killed in the line of duty. The monument includes a small fountain and an open pool.