Friday, 07 June 2013 00:00
Senator Jack M. Martins passed two bills in the senate that would name bridge overpasses in New Hyde Park and Bellerose after two police officers that were tragically killed in the line of duty. According to Martins, the purpose of the bills is to create a lasting tribute to the officers and a reminder of the courage the men and women of law enforcement and emergency service personnel show as they go about their duties.
One bill (S4682) names the Jericho Turnpike bridge overpass that crosses over the Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose as the “Police Officer Arthur Lopez Memorial Bridge.”
Officer Lopez had served with the Nassau County Police Department for eight years and was assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, one of the department’s most elite units after only five years of service. During his time on the force, Lopez earned six meritorious service awards, three excellent police duty awards and several other command recognitions.
Lopez and his partner observed a vehicle they believed had been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Bellerose Terrace on Oct. 23, 2012. The officers followed the vehicle into Queens, where they conducted a stop. After the officers approached and exchanged words, the subject opened fire. Officer Lopez was struck in the chest. He was 29 years old.
Lopez was posthumously promoted to detective, an honor that was received by his parents, Alfonzo and Mirella Lopez.
“Officer Lopez gave everything he had to the residents he swore to protect. He served with bravery and honor. His memory will forever live in the hearts of his parents, Alfonzo and Mirella, as well as his fellow officers and all who knew him,” Martins said.
Officer Joseph P. Olivieri was also killed in the line of duty. A former NYPD officer and a 15-year veteran of the Nassau County Police Department, Olivieri, as a member of the Nassau County Police Department’s Highway Patrol, was investigating a traffic accident near exit 35 on the LIE, involving an intoxicated driver, when was tragically struck and killed by another motorist.
He was respected and admired by all his colleagues. He brought a vast amount of experience in dealing with dangerous issues that arise when patrolling highways. His son Daniel and daughter Amanda survived him.
Martins sponsored Senate Bill 4681 to rename the bridge overpass on New Hyde Park Road, which crosses over the Long Island Expressway, in New Hyde Park as the “Police Officer Joseph P. Olivieri Jr. Memorial Bridge” in honor and memory of Officer Olivieri.
“Officer Olivieri will forever be remembered as a loving father and dedicated officer who was doing his duty to protect lives. This will serve as a reminder to others of the courage that our men and women in uniform show as they do their duty,” Martins said.