Yesterday, regular and auxiliary police officers were present to pay their respects during the Manhattan funeral of auxiliary police officer Nicholas Pekearo, who was killed during a Greenwich Village rampage. Pekearo, a 28-year-old who had worked at an Upper East Side bookstore, recently written a novel and thought about joining the NYPD one day, was remembered fondly by friends and colleagues (it turned out Pekearo had shaved his head to support a fellow auxiliary officer who was going through chemotherapy). Mayor Bloomberg said during the eulogy:
He was our native son. New York was in his soul. It was in his quick, kinetic style of speech and in a sense of humor that was at the same time humble and ironic, sarcastic and self-deprecating... He grew from a little boy to a man in the same apartment on Morton Street. He learned his ABCs at PS 3 on Grove Street and graduated from Bayard Rustin High School, on West 18th Street.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told mourners, "He came face to face with evil and conquered it. And today, his sacrifice redeems us all."
The funeral for Eugene Marshalik, the other auxiliary police officer killed and Pekearo's partner and friend, will be today in Brooklyn. And the Times has an editorial about how the auxiliary police force should be given bulletproof vests.
Photograph of Sixth Precinct Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Theresa J. Shortell presenting Pekearo's mother Lola Latman with the police flag that had draped her son's coffin by Henny Ray Abrams/AP