New York Daily News

November 4, 2004

Forgotten officers to be remembered

BY MICHELE McPHEE
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU CHIEF

For years, retired NYPD cop Mike Bosak pushed to get the names of slain officers he called "The Forgotten" etched onto a memorial wall honoring the city's Finest.

Yesterday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly vowed the 60 cops would no longer be forgotten, saying they would be added to the memorial at Police Headquarters at 1 Police Plaza.

The sad roll call includes dozens of cops killed in the line of duty from the Civil War era to 1934. All of their names have been left off official lists at Police Headquarters and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington.

"This is an important addition to the historical record and worthy recognition of our honored dead," Kelly said.

Identifying the cops was not easy. Bosak spent years tracking the death certificates of the slain men - a grueling and expensive project paid for by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association.

The certificates told of dangerous times and selfless acts. For example:

  • In July 1863, Officer Edward Dipple was shot in the head while he tried to clear rioters who were looting the Gibbons House bar on W. 29th St. near Eighth Ave.

  • In 1868, Officer John Smedick was riddled with bullets by a man who randomly opened fire on him at First Ave. and 32nd St.

  • In 1900, Detective Charles Horn was fatally stabbed at a wedding when he tried to prevent someone from slashing the bride with a sword.

The Daily News first reported on Bosak's quest to have the cops' names added in May. Kelly said then he was supportive of the effort, but it wasn't until yesterday that it became official.

Kelly said the families of the fallen would be invited to a ceremony at Police Headquarters.

Bosak said he was "elated" by Kelly's decision. "But this is about them, it's not about me," he added. "These cops deserved to be honored. It's been a long time coming."