NYPD honors 18 unheralded officers

MANHATTAN (WABC) -- With pride, commitment and respect, the NYPD in a special ceremony honored 18 unheralded police officers who made the supreme sacrifice.

"Their sacrifices were not properly memorialized by our NYPD family. That wasn't right but today that changes," said Commissioner James O'Neill, NYPD.

In the NYPD's Hall of Heroes, lined with large bronze plaques, 900 fallen police officers dating back to 1849 were honored on Wednesday, reading the newest names they added the 18 officers.

Detective George Caccavale was in the transit police when he was killed in June of 1976. His daughter Carla and her family were here to see him honored.

"Detective George Caccavale was killed when I was 20 days old. So for us this is a long time in the making. And to have my father memorialized as the hero he was means a tremendous amount to myself and my entire family," Carla said.

The oldest death was John Branangan who died in August of 1869. Sergeant Thomas O'Grady was in the mounted unit when he was killed in August of 1916.

"We knew he died on duty. We saw the pictures in the paper when we were children and it seems like it's coming full circle," said Tom Donovan, Officer O'Grady's grandson.

Transit Officer William Martin died in 2011 from injuries he received after being beaten by a homeless man in 1981.

"It's been something that would have made my father proud. He was always proud of being a police officer and we are just very grateful," said Kathleen Riordan, Martin's daughter.

Remembered now by their police family, these fallen officers are honored as they should be.

"The function of these plaques is for us, the survivors, to understand that it's our duty to make sure the rest of New York City and indeed the world never forgets the lives of our fallen finest," Commissioner O'Neill said.
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