New York’s Finest recently bestowed some of the NYPD’s highest honors on police officers currently or formerly assigned in Queens at the department’s annual Medal Day on June 11.
Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly attended the event, which takes place in Manhattan at 1 Police Plaza.
Five officers assigned to Queens received the Police Combat Cross, the second-highest honor given by the department. It is awarded for acts of heroism while engaging an armed adversary.
Officer Steven Ricca of the 105th Precinct was one of five officers honored for a 2005 incident when he was a member of the Manhattan North Anti-Crime Unit. Ricca was one of a group of officers fired on by a man who disappeared into an apartment complex. They pursued and apprehended the man, recovering his gun, after he fired on a second group of cops.
Sgt. Robert Bracero of the 113th Precinct was honored for a 2008 incident in which he and his partner confronted an alleged gang member who had fired a gun at a crowded bus stop, hitting one man. Bracero and the suspect exchanged fire during a foot pursuit. The suspect was apprehended and a gun was recovered based on Bracero’s description over his radio.
Officer Kevin Desormeau of the Queens Gang Squad had stopped to question a suspect with his partner in January 2011 when the man took a gun from his waistband and fired while fleeing. Desormeau returned fire during the chase, and the man was arrested by responding officers.
Det. Kevin Herlihy, a member of the Queens Warrant Section Violent Felony Squad, was approaching a suspect wanted for shooting his girlfriend’s daughter in the face. As he identified himself as a police officer, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired multiple shots, hitting Herlihy in one arm. The detective returned fire, killing the suspect.
Sgt. Craig Bier, while assigned to the Queens Warrant Section, approached a man acting suspiciously when he took off on foot into a nearby yard. Bier caught the man, who shot him in both legs. The man was apprehended and charged with attempted murder.
Sgt. Javier Rodriguez of the 113th Precinct and Officer Peter Naughton, assigned to Patrol Borough Queens North’s Specialized Units, were awarded the Medal of Valor, the NYPD’s third-highest honor.
No details on their awards were available from the NYPD.
The 115th Precinct, with its headquarters in Jackson Heights, received one of 12 unit citations handed out for “sustaining a high level of performance” in 2012.