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NYPD Honors 70 Members of the Department at Annual Medal Day

June 6, 2018

Detective Familia Posthumously Awarded Medal of Honor; Sergeant Conniff Awarded Purple Shield; Special Shield Presentation for Detective McDonald

Seventy members of the New York City Police Department were honored at the 2018 Medal Day ceremony. The annual Medal Day ceremony honors both uniformed and civilian members of the NYPD of all ranks who have performed significant acts of heroism, some of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives to uphold their sworn oath as law enforcement officers. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill were joined by family members of the honorees at the ceremony at One Police Plaza. "Today we honor those who gave their lives for the people of this city, and we also recognize those whose remarkable courage, instinct, and skill carried them through situations that would have panicked most other people. But they're not most other people – they are among the finest law enforcement officers in the world," said Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "But we can't forget that cops are regular people, too – people with families and hopes and fears, just like everyone else. The difference is: Cops are ordinary people who, when faced with challenges, do extraordinary things."

"Today is a recognition of the brave, by the brave, and an opportunity to honor the proud history of those who wear the uniform in service to our city," said Mayor de Blasio. "I urge all New Yorkers to join me in recognizing every member of the world's finest police department—past and present—for their sacrifices and steady excellence in protecting our home."

Detective First Grade Miosotis P. Familia was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The Medal of Honor is the Department's highest award, bestowed since 1871 for acts of gallantry and valor performed above and beyond the call of duty, with full knowledge of the risk involved. On July 5, 2017, Detective Familia was shot and critically wounded in the line of duty in an unprovoked, premeditated attack by a recidivist criminal out on parole. She died a short time later at Saint Barnabas Hospital. Detective Familia and her partner were working a midnight tour and in a Department mobile command vehicle, stationed at the corner of East 183rd Street and Creston Avenue in the Bronx, when an armed man walked up to the vehicle and shot her through the front passenger's side window. The gunman was shot and killed by responding officers one block from the scene of the shooting. At her funeral on July 11, 2017, Police Commissioner O'Neill posthumously promoted Officer Familia to Detective First Grade.

Sergeant Donald S. Conniff was posthumously awarded the Purple Shield. The Purple Shield is awarded to members of the service who have suffered extreme serious physical injury, permanent disfigurement, or protracted or permanent impairment of health or any bodily function while performing an official act either on or off duty. On the morning of January 1, 1998, just hours after Sergeant Conniff had worked New Year's Eve in Times Square, and was then on his way to work another detail at City Hall, a drunk driver went through a red light and struck his car just blocks from his 9th Precinct station house. For the next 17 years, Sergeant Conniff fought a valiant battle. He died on December 12, 2015.

Detective First Grade Steven McDonald was posthumously honored in a Special Shield Presentation in which his shield was permanently retired from service. On July 12, 1986, Detective McDonald was on foot patrol in Central Park, near Fifth Avenue and 107th Street, when he encountered a group of teenagers believed to be involved in a robbery. Detective McDonald stopped them near the boathouse on Harlem Meer. As he was questioning the teens one of them drew a concealed .22 caliber revolver and fired, striking Detective McDonald three times. He was transported to a local hospital where it was determined that his near fatal injuries had caused paralysis. As a result, he used a wheelchair and breathed with the assistance of a ventilator. On January 10, 2017, Detective McDonald died as a direct result of complications from the gunshot wounds. He was 59-years-old.

In addition, 67 other members of the service were presented Wednesday with Departmental honors, as follows.

Distinguished Service Medalconferred upon the family of a member of the service who succumbed to illness associated with exceptional duty, performed with great responsibility, under unusual hazard or demand. Twenty-four members of the service who succumbed to illnesses contracted during the rescue and recovery effort in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks have received the Distinguished Service Medal:

Deputy Chief James G. Molloy
Lieutenant John C. Rowland
Sergeant Patrick J. Boyle
Sergeant Patrick T. Coyne
Sergeant Terrence S. O'Hara
Sergeant Michael B. Wagner
Detective First Grade Gerard A. Ahearn
Detective Second Grade Thomas P. Ward
Detective James T. Giery
Detective William D. Kinane
Detective Stephen T. Kubinski
Detective Christian R. Lindsay
Detective George C. Remouns, Jr.
Police Officer Judy A. Ghany-Barounis
Police Officer William J. King
Police Officer Christine A. Reilly
Police Officer Wayne J. Sblano
Police Officer Peter M. Sheridan
Police Officer Richard E. Taylor
Police Officer Reginald Umpthery
Police Officer John F. Vierling, Jr.
Police Surgeon Murtain Haskin
Maintenance Supervisor Umberto Corso
Administrative Traffic Enforcement Agent Eugene P. Hourican

Police Combat CrossThe Department's second highest award, bestowed for extraordinary acts of heroism while engaged in personal struggle with an armed adversary under circumstances of imminent personal hazard. Sixteen members of the service received the Police Combat Cross:

Lieutenant Marek Nowak
Sergeant Cesar Gomez
Sergeant Patrick McGrath
Sergeant Michael Pomerantz
Detective Diara Cruz
Detective Nicholas DeRobertis
Detective Andrew Dossi
Detective Patrick Espeut
Detective Daniel Gasperetti
Detective Richard Hoda
Detective Aliro Pellerano
Detective Edelman Santos
Detective Matthew Vorraro
Police Officer Phillip Pena
Police Officer John Quinn
Police Officer Jaime Santiago

Medal for ValorThe Department's third highest award, granted for acts of outstanding personal bravery performed in the line of duty and at imminent personal hazard to life, under circumstances evincing disregard for personal consequence. Twenty-four members of the service, one retired member of the service, and two former members of the service received the Medal for Valor:

Lieutenant Patrick Ryan
Lieutenant Christopher Ward
Sergeant Alberto Puente
Sergeant Richard Santiago
Sergeant Thomas Sorrentino
Detective John Fahim
Detective Willie Johnson
Detective Gregory Kennedy
Detective Shante Terrell
Police Officer Jacob Aaronson
Police Officer John Arnold
Police Officer Anthony Baresi
Police Officer Brian Boyle
Police Officer Tony Cuoco
Police Officer John Flanagan
Police Officer Marc Fontana
Police Officer Craig Lalla
Police Officer Mateusz Krzeminski
Police Officer William Neville
Police Officer Juan Peralta
Police Officer Gobin Ragunath
Police Officer Michael Renna
Police Officer Kenneth Stallone
Police Officer Kiel Sui
Police Officer Diana Torres
Police Officer Michael Vuoso
Police Officer Frederick Winter

Unit CitationsPersonnel assigned to the following commands were recognized for outstanding performance in sustaining a high level of service to the City of New York in 2017:

9 Precinct
32 Precinct
41 Precinct
101 Precinct
Police Service Area 2
Transit District 3
Patrol Borough Brooklyn North Anti-Crime
40 Precinct Detective Squad
Central Robbery Division
The Office of Crime Control Strategies
Employee Assistance Unit
Force Investigation Division
Traffic Enforcement Division

Read the Police Commissioner's remarks from the ceremony.