Efforts are underway to have an Elmhurst street corner renamed after an area police officer who died in 2010.
In a presentation to Community Board 4 on Tuesday, deputy chief Jeff Maddrey expressed his desire to have the corner of 95th Street and 43rd Avenue, adjacent to the 110th Precinct, renamed for the late police officer Robert Ehmer. The board unanimously voted 27-0 to accept the proposal.
Ehmer died in 2010 of cancer caused by his service at the World Trade Center site for the four months following the Sept. 11 attacks. He was 47 years old.
Ehmer’s former partner of seven years, Daniel Meyer, who has since retired, and Raymond Hawkins, a 90th Precinct sergeant, as well as other police officers were also in attendance to support the cause.
“Bobby was a very humble man. His entire life was about service,” Maddrey told CB 4. “He taught me how to be a better police officer.”
In the four months following the 9/11 attacks, Ehmer, Hawkins and Meyer were stationed at the former site of the Twin Towers to provide security for the recovery effort, but only Ehmer, who was unmarried with no children, got sick.
The cancer was not discovered until 2006 when Ehmer, who also served as an EMT at St. John’s Hospital was lifting a patient into an ambulance. He immediately felt pain in his left shoulder, and an MRI revealed that he had stage four renal cancer.
“I was there the day he died and it was so terrible,” Hawkins said. “I wonder why I didn’t get sick when I was with him.”
“It’s amazing how things work out sometimes,” Meyer said of Ehmer’s illness. “It makes you wonder if he was sick beforehand or something.”
The request for the street renaming was put in eight months ago, according to Hawkins, and the process may take six more months or so until the ceremony occurs.
Ehmer joined the 110th precinct in 1986 and served 19 years in the unit until he retired in 2005. In that time, he received seven medals for Excellent Police Duty.
“He was a great individual, a great man, a great police officer and a great friend to myself and many others in the 110th Precinct and the community,” Maddrey said.
CB 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol also noted that the former St. John’s Hospital building is up for sale once again, and the board voted unanimously to approve the 2015 CB 4 capital and expenses budget. A presentation by the 82nd Street Partnership regarding the extension of the Jackson Heights / Corona BID was also made.