Police/FireThe Examiner

Dozens of Police Agencies Show Support to NYPD Precinct of Slain Officer

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A police caravan, which included members from about 50 departments throughout the Hudson Valley, leaves the Westchester Police Academy on its way to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem. A 22-year-old NYPD officer was killed Friday night after responding to a domestic violence call.

Hundreds of police officers throughout the lower Hudson Valley participated in a caravan Sunday afternoon to the Harlem police precinct that saw one of its officers fatally shot Friday night and another fighting for his life.

About 50 law enforcement agencies were represented, many from Westchester and Putnam counties, in a show of support and a tribute to the fallen officer, Jason Rivera. They brought flowers, food and cards and various Police Benevolent Associations and police fraternal organizations in Westchester made donations to the fund established by the NYPD to support the family of Rivera, who married last fall.

Rivera and his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, were ambushed Friday night while responding to a domestic violence call. When they arrived at the apartment, Lashawn McNeil allegedly emerged from a rear bedroom firing his gun, hitting Rivera and Mora. Mora died Tuesday afternoon from his wounds.

After the two officers were struck, a third officer fired at McNeil, hitting him twice.

The caravan started at the Westchester County Police Academy in Valhalla and made its way down to the 32nd Precinct on West 135th Street in Manhattan. The New York City police escorted the caravan from the Westchester-Bronx border, down the Major Deegan Expressway and to the stationhouse.

“It’s really just to show the NYPD and to show everybody that when something bad happens to anybody in law enforcement it affects the entire community,” said Westchester County police Sgt. James Dress. “We all wear different patches but we’re all from the same family. So it’s just an opportunity to show our support from all the northern precincts of the area north of New York City.”

Dress said the shooting has been particularly hard on the police community because the officers were responding to a type of call that is made on a routine basis.

“They were there doing their jobs, they were there to render some aid to the people who called for their help and unfortunately they weren’t given the opportunity, the perpetrator opened the door and fired and the officers, they really didn’t have much time to react,” he said. “That’s very tragic and the fact that some of the officers from that command in New York City actually had to carry the officers to the hospital, which was at the end of the block, (it’s) very emotional, very tragic.”

Westchester County police spokesman Kieran O’Leary said Rivera’s age — he was 22 years old – and the fact that last week was especially brutal for police officers in the city and around the nation has likely heightened the outpouring of support this time. Last week four NYPD officers were shot.

In most previous instances when an officer has been hit, the county police and representatives from several Westchester departments and the lower Hudson Valley would make the trip, O’Leary said.

“I think the uptick in violence against police officers is a factor for everybody to come together and stand united, and I think the young age of the officer, who was 22 years old, at the start of his career, and I think that really just hit everybody, too,” he said. “This is like a life and a career that’s not going to happen because of the violence that happened to him and I think that really resonated with everybody also.”

Also participating in the caravan were departments from Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties and Stamford, Conn.

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