Newsday
September 15, 2001

An Officer Who Was Building for the Future

By Thomas Maier STAFF WRITER

   Talty
 
(Newsday / J. Conrad Williams)
  Paul Talty, a NYC cop missing in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

With a new baby born just last month, Paul Talty, a 40-year-old city police officer with the Emergency Service Unit, went to work on Tuesday morning with thoughts of building for the future. He and his wife were even putting an addition on their Wantagh house to make room for their growing family.

But by the end of Tuesday, there was still no word about Talty's whereabouts, and his family became deeply worried. Yesterday the police department confirmed that Talty was among 23 police officers missing after the World Trade Center disaster.

"They know he went into the building — we think it was Tower One — but we don't know how high up he was when it [the building collapse] happened," said his sister-in-law, Lisa Talty. "We didn't know he was among the missing until he didn't call and we didn't hear from him all day."

Talty, who joined the police force about eight years ago, arrived Tuesday at his unit's Flushing headquarters for the start of the 7 a.m. shift. When news of the first jet attack happened, Talty and other colleagues rushed to the World Trade Center, hoping to save lives. The family's account was confirmed by a colleague who worked with Talty in Flushing but didn't want his name used.

"They got the call and he suited up and must have been one of the first [emergency services officers] to get there," said Lisa, who said her brother-in-law was always helping people. "Everything you can say that's good is Paul. Everybody loves Paul."

She said Talty has a cousin, John English, who is also a police officer and was involved in the World Trade Center rescue attempts without injury.

Talty grew up in Rockville Centre, attending St. Agnes elementary school and Southside High School. He and his wife, Barbara, have two older children, Paul, 12, and Lauren, 9, and new daughter, Kelly, born Aug. 18 at South Nassau Communities Hospital.

He worked for years as an electrician but wanted a job with more security, so he joined the city police force.

"Paul did it for his family — to have a pension and benefits — so he could take care of his family," recalled Lisa, who is married to Talty's brother, John. "He's spent most of his time working on his home . They just put on an addition because of the new baby."

Yesterday the Talty family spent the day anxiously waiting and hoping that some good news about Paul might come. A telephone call to his Wantagh house was answered by a machine with Paul's voice on it.