By Madina Toure
A street outside the Police Academy in College Point is being renamed in honor of a police officer killed in the line of duty more than 40 years ago.
Last week, the City Council unanimously voted to approve the co-naming of 28th Avenue to commemorate Patrolman Phillip Cardillo, who had been on the police force for five years with the 28th Precinct in Harlem. Castillo, who was 31 at the time, was shot outside a mosque located at 102 W. 116th St. in April 1972.
Edward Mullins, president of the SBA, had put in a request to Community Board 7, which voted to approve the street renaming in November 2014.
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who introduced the bill calling for the street renaming, said it “has been long overdue.”
“Soon generations of new officers will be able to look to the sign and know his story and legacy to the department,” Vallone said in a statement. “May this sign forever remind us of the sacrifices that the men and women of the NYPD are too often asked to selflessly make, as well as serve as a symbol that these sacrifices are never forgotten.”
In April 1972, Cardillo received a call that a fellow officer was in danger at a mosque in Harlem and went to the location, along with his partner, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Upon arrival, Cardillo and the other officer realized the call was fake, made by members of the mosque. The officers were then attacked by people inside the mosque,
Cardillo was shot and other officers were seriously injured. He died from his wound. One person was charged with Cardillo’s murder but was acquitted because the jury could not reach a verdict.
CB 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty said the street renaming was initially supposed to be done in Harlem, but it ended up not happening.
The Police Academy was deemed an appropriate location as new cadets would learn about an officer killed while working.
“They originally asked the community board up where he worked and there was some type of problem that they wouldn’t do it,” Kelty said. “The groups wouldn’t move it forward.”
A newly designed NYPD Harbor Vessel is under consideration to be renamed to commemorate Cardillo. The Blue Knights Chapter X and its presidents honor Cardillo yearly with a motorcycle ride.
And a 2007 book called “Circle of Six” by former NYPD detective Randy Jurgensen, who worked in Harlem, tells the story of Cardillo’s death and the case against his killer.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour