Arthur Lopez's, Joseph P. Olivieri Jr.'s names added to Nassau police memorial
GalleriesNassau memorial honors fallen police officers Nassau cop Arthur Lopez fatally shot Recent LI mug shots
Web linksWalt Handelsman's tribute
Mirella Lopez wept Wednesday as she lifted her hand and gently caressed her son's name set on a Nassau County Police Department's memorial wall honoring officers killed in the line of duty.
At this year's ceremony in Mineola to pay tribute to fallen officers, two names, Arthur Lopez and Joseph P. Olivieri Jr., were added to the 32 already on the gray stone.
Lopez, 29, of Babylon Village, affectionately known to friends and families as Artie, was shot and killed on Oct. 23 during a confrontation with an ex-convict near the Nassau-Queens border. "He was a good son, a good son," his mother said after the ceremony at police headquarters.
His adult children, Amanda and Daniel, and other relatives took part in the ceremony, but declined to comment afterward. Lt. Adam Scheiner, Olivieri's supervisor when he worked in the Seventh Precinct and later in the highway patrol, remembers him for the way he lived.
"I think that Joe Olivieri lived a life of service and honor," Scheiner said. "On the day that he was taken from us, he was protecting three other people in an auto accident, just what he did every day."
In the past three years, the names of five officers, including Lopez and Olivieri, have been added to the memorial wall, which lists the names of 34 officers killed in the line of duty since 1925 when the police department was formed.
Each of the names of the fallen was read aloud Wednesday as hundreds of people -- including dignitaries, friends and family -- sat under two white tents and on the dais.
The ceremony was sad yet beautiful, said Lopez's older sister, Charo Ramos. "It's bittersweet," she said.
For James Carver, president of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, the ceremony brought back memories of the days the officers were killed.
"The first thing that comes back is the phone call -- getting that phone call," Carver said. "Joe Olivieri was in a serious auto accident. He probably wasn't gonna make it. It was about 5:15 in the morning."
Carver remembers, in vivid detail, each of the phone calls informing him that one of his members was injured or killed.
"We'll be back here one year from now . . . and we'll go through another ceremony, and, hopefully no one else will be" added to the wall, Carver said.