Slain NYPD officer gets proper headstone 100 years after his death

Monday, May 20, 2024
NYPD officer gets proper headstone 100 years after his death
Kemberly Richardson has the story in Brooklyn on the officer.

GREENWOOD HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A New York City police officer is being honored and remembered a century after he was killed while responding to a robbery.

Tenacity and thoughtfulness were the driving forces behind the dignified ceremony at Green-Wood Cemetery a century after NYPD Det. Bernardino Grottano was shot and killed.

"My grandfather always mentioned him and I saw the picture and I just was amazed," said relative Phyllis Kropacek.

Grottano was buried, until now, in an unmarked grave in section 143. But now a proper headstone marks the spot thanks to a gift from the Detective's Endowment Association.

Grottano was off-duty in Downtown Brooklyn on May 19, 1924, when he joined other officers who were chasing an armed robbery suspect that opened fire. He was hit in the chest and died a week later.

His widow couldn't afford a headstone at the time -- so the proper headstone dedicated 100 years later is a fitting gesture for a man who stepped into danger to protect his community.

"He's finally getting his due and I'm just so thankful, it's also filled with sadness because of what happened to him," Kropacek said.

The ceremony was also about connecting the dots. Several members of the family met for the very first time, including two current NYPD officers -- Dylan Grottano and Robert Desena

Both officers are Grottano's great-great nephews and work out of Brooklyn.

"It's an honor to have his last name still on the badge 100 years later, so it kind of swerved me into the career path of joining the NYPD," said Dylan Grottano.

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N.J. Burkett has the story from Brooklyn.


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