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Transcript: Commissioner O'Neill Delivers Remarks at Plaque Dedication Ceremony Honoring Detective Steven McDonald

January 10, 2018

Central Park Precinct

On the anniversary of Stevens's death we're here today to dedicate this important plaque of remembrance. And Patti it's always good to see you. Conor I've had the occasion quite a few times since Steven's passing last January — Patti always makes it a point to come up and pay me a visit. Sometimes — it's not sometimes — every time she comes up I know she's more concerned about me than herself. I'm trying to change that a little bit because I know since January 10th there's been a big void in your life as well as Conor's and the whole McDonald family. But, how you continue to be strong — and I'm sure you probably get tired of hearing that, how strong you are — It's not an easy thing for people to say about you all the time. But you are, and what you do for the NYPD, what you've done for us over the last 30 years will never be forgotten, along with Steven.

The first time I met Steven was probably right outside the front door when it was the parking lot. I've never met him before, I was the CO here. And the first time I met him I knew he was a special person. Now to be able to live your life incapacitated like that physically but certainly not mentally and to share that message of love is pretty special. I'm not sure if there are too many human beings on this planet that could do that. And the impact that he's had on the NYPD family — probably much bigger than that, in New York City, and this country, and beyond our borders — is incredible.

Now you live a legacy of hope, of forgiveness, not hating. Loving. And it's tough, and especially in the jobs that we have. You know, the things that we see every day. You know, sometimes that can leave you bitter and cynical. But: his message. And he brought it to everybody — and he brought it to Central Park Precinct; he brought it to police Precincts all around New York City; he brought it to schools all around the Metropolitan area — people listened. And it's not always that people listened. In 2016, 2015, 2018. They're paying attention to other things. But they listened to Steven.

And, Conor, I couldn't be — I'm not sure if it's my place, but — I couldn't be prouder of you. The work that you're doing now and your future in this department and carrying on your dad's legacy. You know who he is, you know the man he is. And every time you speak, I'm listening.

The passion that you have, not just for your dad and your mom, but for what you do there in that uniform, and what you continue to do for many, many years is a gift to this department and a gift to this city. So, it's great that we're all here today. And it seems hard to believe that it's a year. It seems just like yesterday we were in the hospital, and once again I was struck by your faith and Conor and Katie and what you were thinking that day, and how you were more concerned about everybody else than you were about yourself. I think that's what this world needs. You know: think beyond yourself. Think how you can make a difference. How can you continue to do good. And the people I see here in uniform — I know you do, I know you make that difference. That's why you took these jobs.

So, I'll never forget Steven. And it's important that this plaque is here. I wish it could be bigger. I wish we could have it right on the outside wall and anybody that comes by these beautiful 843 acres gets a chance to see that. And if they're from out of town, maybe they can say, Who is Steven McDonald? And somebody that works in this Precinct can tell them all about who Steven was and who he still is. That's probably the most important thing: who he still is. And how his legacy carries and gives us hope to live in peace and make this world a better place.

So once again thank you being here this morning and continue to think about Steven and all he managed to accomplish in his time on this earth and all he still manages to accomplish since his passing. Thank you very much, thanks.

Remembering the Fallen Finest: Detecitve First Grade Steven D. McDonald

Plaque dedication ceremony honoring NYPD Detective Steven McDonald. Central Park Precinct, Manhattan. Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office