Three Local Cops Receive Law Enforcement Awards
By Charles Rogers
Three heroic police officers from the 69th Precinct were recipients this week of the coveted Law Enforcement Appreciation Awards from Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.
Police Officers Michael Kelliher, Jose Ortiz and Nigel Paul were among 22 law enforcement officers, including members of the NYPD, Fire Department, State Supreme Court, District Attorney’s Office and Bridge & Tunnel Officers honored during a ceremony in Downtown Brooklyn on Monday, May 10.
This was the 14th annual event honoring the officers for their accomplishments on and off duty.
"Many of these officers risk their lives to help others," said Hynes, "whether it’s engaging in gun battles, entering burning buildings or dealing with dangerous criminals. This is just everyday life for these officers, who demonstrate courage, valor and selflessness.
"They are to be praised," he continued, "and we are proud to have these brave men and women representing Brooklyn."
On June 17, 2003, Officers Kelliher and Ortiz responded to a radio call of a suicidal man jumping off Canarsie Pier. The man apparently changed his mind after jumping in the water after an argument he’d had with his girlfriend. As he began to drown, Ortiz and Kelliher jumped over a railing onto a platform and, while Ortiz held onto the railing, Kelliher clung to his leg and reached out and grabbed the drowning man’s arm. Kelliher was then able to pull the man up on the platform.
"What made the rescue more dangerous," Hynes said, "was that both men were wearing their gun belts, which would have weighed them down if they had fallen into the water. They risked their own lives to save another man’s life."
Officer Nigel Paul, along with Sergeant Robert Stapleton and Detective Edwin Cesario helped a female nurse escape from a scissors-wielding psychiatric patient at Long Island College Hospital on November 19, 2003. Officer Paul, who was guarding a prisoner, heard a commotion and saw the 43-year-old male suspect pull a nurse from her station and toss her to the floor, grabbing a pair of sharp scissors and putting them to the nurse’s throat. Paul drew his weapon and confronted the deranged man, who slowly backed into a hallway. With Paul slowly following, the man eventually backed into a room at the end of a hall and he was talked into letting the nurse go. Officer Paul and the others closed the door to the room, which had a large window facing the hall.
While Paul continued to aim his gun at the suspect, Stapleton and Cesario started talking with him and he eventually dropped the scissors. He was collared when local police ran into the room.
"These officers deserve to be commended for defusing this dangerous situation," said Hynes.