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July 7, 2024

Queens cop killed by alleged drunk driver laid to rest on Long Island

By Dean Moses

Hundreds of NYPD cops came together at a funeral home on Long Island Saturday to honor the life of Police Officer Emilia Rennhack, who was killed last month by an alleged drunk driver who crashed his vehicle into a storefront that the off-duty officer was frequenting at the time.

Rennhack, 30, was inside a Deer Park nail salon on June 28, enjoying her day off, when a drunk driver crashed his SUV into the storefront, killing the off-duty cop and three others. A sea of blue, including her colleagues from the NYPD 102 Precinct in Queens, attended the New Hyde Park-located funeral home for the teary-eyed service.

Mourners gathered outside the funeral home on Lakewood Road, where the young officer was remembered as a woman who brought joy to her colleagues.

 “Today, we mourn the loss of our sister,” said Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry. “The police officers from the 102 Precinct and across the city are hurting.”

“That infectious smile brought joy to the 102 Precinct stationhouse,” Hendry added. “She was just a friendly person who was liked by everyone who met her. She was an incredibly hard worker who touched so many lives.”

Hendry also spoke out against Steven Schwally, 64, who allegedly killed Rennhack and the three others after consuming 18 beers and getting behind the wheel of the SUV that plowed into the salon.

“This individual who caused these events made horrible choices that shattered so many lives, turned so many families upside down — he should have never been behind the wheel,” Hendry added. “He’s behind bars now and he needs to stay behind bars.”

Schwally has been charged with DWI.

Mayor Eric Adams also attended the service and commented on the fallen cop’s immigrant background and the mark she left on New York.

“Here you have a family that came to America from Poland to live out the American dream, and that dream turned into a nightmare,” Adams told mourners. “She wore the uniform to protect the people of this city.”

In addition to working out of the Queens precinct since 2018, Rennhack was also a newlywed, having married husband and fellow cop Carl Rennhack in September 2023.

“Her laugh and smile were contagious,” her grieving husband said. “I know we’ll meet again. I miss you.”

At the end of the service, Carl Rennhack, who was fighting back tears, was presented with the nation’s flag that was then draped over his fallen wife’s casket.