Port Authority police graduation Friday will include 3 with 9/11 ties

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Rob Nelson has the story. (WABC)

After graduation Friday, three future Port Authority police officers will carry far more than just guns and badges.

"It's always there and it's always something that keeps us going," Liam Huczko said.

The department is graduating its largest class in the department's 86-year history, and includes relatives of Port Authority officers killed in the line of duty during the 9/11 attacks in New York.

"I was young when it happened, so it's definitely an impact on my motivation and wanting to always help," Jennifer Morrone said.

Liam Huckzo is the son of fallen officer Steven Huckzo. Jennifer Morrone is a cousin of Fred Moronne, the former superintendent of the force. Patrick Gorman is the son of Thomas Gorman, who died trying to rescue victims from the World Trade Center.

The new officers are trained in counter-terrorism and firefighting, and some will be assigned to the World Trade Center.

"It's very symbolic, very important and very touching for the department to have these officers graduating and joining the ranks out in the field," Port Authority Police Chief Louie Koumoutsos said.

According to the agency, the 210 men and 39 women graduates include 136 New Yorkers and 111 New Jerseyans, plus a resident each from Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

It's been nearly 13 years since the attacks rattled the country, but the memories of those lost that day are a source of inspiration to those now picking up where the fallen left off.

"Through this journey I feel like I have gotten to know him on a more spiritual level just in speaking to my parents and getting to know more about what he did here and the impact that he had," Morrone said.

"My father was there doing what he did best, which was helping people," Liam said.

Liam and Patrick will even wear their father's old badge numbers.

"I think he'd be proud and glad to see me following in his footsteps," Liam said.

The Port Authority police force lost 37 members on that Tuesday morning in 2001. This Friday, they gain 3 new cops who could not ask for better guardian angels.
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educationport authorityseptember 11september 11thJersey City
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