Fallen police officers honored
Eight police officers died in the line of duty in New York State last year. On Tuesday, friends, family and their former colleagues came together in Albany to pay them tribute. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, Officer John Falcone was one of those honored.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- February 18th, 2011 was a day that forever changed the face of the Poughkeepsie Police Department. After responding to a call of "shots fired," 18 year veteran John Falcone pulled over a car driven by 27-year-old Lee Welch. Following a brief scuffle, Welch fatally shot Falcone before taking his own life.
"Honestly, I don't think we'll ever get over it. Every day I think of John, I think of the officers that were involved in the entire incident," said Poughkeepsie Police Department Captain Tom Pape.
It was soon discovered Welch also killed his 28-year-old wife, Jessica.
Fifteen months after the tragic day, the 44-year-old Falcone was honored in Albany.
"Anytime there's any type of ceremony, it hits home exactly what happened," Pape aid.
Held each May, the New York State Police Officers’ Memorial honors officers who died in the line of duty the previous year. Along with Falcone, seven paid the ultimate sacrifice in 2011. Nineteen others, including 13 who died from illnesses attributed to working at the World Trade Center site following the September 11th attacks, were honored at Tuesday's ceremony.
"I think it is good to see these things. It's good for the officers, not only for the families who have lost, but also for the officers who are still there, it helps them heal as well," Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss said.
In addition to a large delegation from the Poughkeepsie Police Department, Falcone's father attended the memorial service. His son's name is now etched on a wall that features those of more than 1,300 men and women who died serving their communities.
"To see his name on this remembrance wall is something we'll never forget and his memory will live on here in the City of Poughkeepsie," Poughkeepsie Mayor John Tkazyik said.
"I don't think it's something you get over, I think it's something you carry on and remember every day for the rest of your life," Pape said.