For Immediate Release: November 18, 2011
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DUFFY HONORS NEW YORK STATE'S POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Rome Officer Donald Moore Receives Award During a Ceremony at Rome City Hall
12 Officers From Agencies Across New York State Receive Certificates of Exceptional Valor
Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy today presented Rome Police Officer Donald Moore with New York State’s Police Officer of the Year Award. Officer Moore was recognized for saving the lives of seven people at a cell phone store in New York Mills in May 2010.
“There is nothing more noble, and nothing more sacred than the opportunity to serve and protect as an officer of the law,” said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. “The men and women of law enforcement represent the best of our humanity. They are the pillars of our community and we must ensure that a show of our appreciation is not limited to occasions such as this, but that every day we honor their service and applaud their courage.”
“Officer Moore showed us what every police officer already knows – they report for duty not knowing what the day may bring, and they know their job doesn’t end when their shift is over,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Elizabeth Glazer. “On May 27th, without hesitation and regard for his own safety, he took action while off-duty. Because of him, the lives of at least seven New Yorkers were saved that day. I commend him for his bravery and service.”
The Lieutenant Governor presented the award to Officer Moore during a ceremony at Rome City Hall, in front of the officer’s family and friends, as well as a host of local and state elected leaders and law enforcement officials.
Officer Moore was off-duty and at an AT&T Wireless store the afternoon of May 27, 2010, when a man opened fire inside, shooting one employee and aiming for the others. Officer Moore quickly responded by drawing his off-duty weapon and firing at the shooter, killing him. A subsequent investigation into the incident revealed that the shooter had a prior history of threatening behavior toward the AT &T employees and carried a “hit list” with their names, and extra rounds of ammunition, the day of the shooting.
Rome Police Chief Kevin C. Beach said: “As Police Officers we are always on duty. We are sworn to protect the life, liberty and property of those in our communities. We are taught to run toward danger when others are running away. Officer Moore placed himself in harm’s way, risking his own life for people he did not know. He did this without hesitation, which undoubtedly saved the lives of many innocent people that day. Officer Moore is a fine example of the great quality of men and women of the Rome Police Department.”
Added Amy Hines Kramer, regional vice president of external affairs, AT&T New York: “AT&T salutes the heroism of Officer Moore, as well as all of those nominated for Police Officer of the Year award. AT&T shares in Lt. Governor Duffy's recognition of bravery in the line of duty, and commends all New York police officers who show courage in the face of uncertain circumstances.”
Seth Turk, the store employee who was shot during the incident, said: “I am honored to take part in today’s prestigious award ceremony, recognizing Officer Moore. Officer Moore’s actions represent all law enforcement officers and their daily sacrifices, and for that, we should all thank them.”
The Police Officer of the Year Award was created in 1983 to recognize a single police officer, or team of officers, for an exceptional act of valor, symbolizing the service of police in New York State. In addition to Donald Moore, 12 officers from 10 law enforcement agencies also will be recognized for contributions to their communities in 2010 and will receive Certificates of Exceptional Valor from the Governor.
- Deputy Nicholas Leon of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office rescued a car-crash victim whose automobile was overturned and partially submerged in the Great Chazy River in the town of Champlain on April 8, 2010.
- Officer Luigi Osso of the Irvington Police Department was seriously injured on April 21, 2010, while in pursuit of a stolen vehicle. While stopped at a red light, the driver of the stolen vehicle struck Officer Osso’s patrol car.
- Sgt. Todd O’Brien of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office rescued a woman who had been shot in her Sackets Harbor home on August 4, 2010. During the rescue, Sgt. O’Brien was fired upon by the suspect, who was still at the scene.
- Deputy Jonathan Strong of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was shot in the leg after responding to reports of a woman being shot in her home in Sweden on January 8, 2010. Deputy Strong directed the woman to safety and held his position, despite his injury, so other responding officers could take the suspect into custody.
- On June 22, 2010, Sgt. Thomas E. Haumann and Troopers Carlo Gennario Jr. and Richard J. Snyder of the New York State Police were dispatched to a home in Vienna, where a distraught man was armed with a shotgun and threatening to kill his infant son. Once at the scene, Trooper Gennario ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, but he refused and shot and killed his son, then taking aim at Trooper Gennario. Sergeant Haumann again ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, but this time he charged at the police. The troopers responded by opening fire and then wrestling the shotgun from the suspect’s hands.
- Deputy Michael Burger of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office was shot in the ankle during the successful pursuit of two individuals who robbed an NBT Bank in Rome on July 29, 2010.
- Sgt. Damian Waters of the Oswego Police Department rescued a fisherman who had been swept away by the Oswego River on September 28, 2010.
- Officers Brendan Gayer and Brian Smith of the Suffolk County Police Department rescued a man from a burning home in Mastic Beach on March 15, 2010. The officers kicked down the door to the burning building, crawling through the smoke and flames to search for the unconscious victim and pulling him to safety.
- Sgt. Ralph Bartlett of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office was shot while responding to a domestic violence incident on April 27, 2010, in Warrensburg. The suspect had shot at his ex-girlfriend’s home with a .357-caliber Magnum and then fled the scene. Sgt. Bartlett directed the pursuit, which spanned 10 miles, and was shot in the stomach after officers stopped the suspect’s car.
Each year, the Police Officer of the Year Selection Committee reviews nominations submitted by New York State law enforcement agencies. Nominees must be sworn police officers employed within the State of New York who have performed an act of exceptional valor during the year.
The Police Officer of the Year selection committee is composed of the following members: the Commissioner of Division of Criminal Justice Services; the Superintendent of the New York State Police; Counsel and Executive Director of the State Sheriffs’ Association; Executive Director of the State Association of Chiefs of Police; President of the Police Conference of New York; President of the New York State Association of Police Benevolent Association; and President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York.