By Bill Parry
More than 100 Astoria residents joined Deputy Inspector Kevin Maloney and his officers in front of the 114th Precinct Dec. 30 for a candlelight vigil in honor of Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. Clergy from the three major faiths spoke to the crowd.
City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) organized the vigil in partnership with state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria), Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst).
“The vigil showed just how strongly we all support the 114th Police Precinct and showed what a community can do if we stand united,” Constantinides said. “Even as we feel a great loss and recognize the loss that the officers’ families are feeling, we have stayed united as one city and we stand together as a community.”
Constantinides made public safety a key part of his campaign when he ran for City Council in 2013 knowing that Astoria is strongly pro police. Gianaris, like Constantinides, was born and raised in the community and he knew the candlelight vigil would be a good way to show pride in the police force.
“I am proud to have taken part in this powerful display of support alongside out entire community for the men and women of the NYPD who spend their days and nights keeping us safe,” Gianaris said. “Moving forward we must continue to honor the memories of the police officers who were tragically taken from us, as well as all NYPD employees who put their lives at risk every day in order to protect us.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4538.