A bronze statue honoring slain NYPD police officer Brian Moore will be unveiled next month in a Plainedge park near where he grew up.
Residents of Plainedge and nearby communities spent months holding fundraisers, selling T-shirts and seeking donations to raise the $40,000 for the statue. An area business owner is paying for the statue base.
“The outpouring from the community was just unbelievable, second to none,” said Andy Rothstein, director of operations for the Town of Oyster Bay, which will install the statue in Plainedge Park. “I think it’s because Brian was one of Plainedge’s own.”
The May 21 dedication ceremony will come less than three weeks after the one-year anniversary of Moore being shot while on patrol in Queens Village. He died two days later, on May 4, 2015. He was posthumously promoted to detective.
“When everybody had heard about what happened, we felt like it had happened to our own family,” said Fran Pecoraro, who helped raise money for the statue for the Plainedge Alumni Association, which represents graduates of all Plainedge schools.
Some of the donors were friends or classmates of Moore’s. Others, like Pecoraro, had never met Moore but felt compelled to work to honor him.
“He grew up here and the community needed to remember him,” Pecoraro said.
Minnesota-based Brodin Studios, which specializes in memorials to police officers, firefighters and military members, designed the statue, in consultation with Moore’s parents. It will be a likeness of Moore, with a plaque honoring him on its base. But it also pays homage to all police officers who died in the line of duty, Rothstein said.
The nearby park community center, run by the Plainedge Union Free School District, will be renamed the Brian Moore Athletic Center in time for the ceremony, Rothstein said.
Moore attended the now-demolished middle school that was on the site, and played baseball and basketball in what was then the school park.
In the weeks before the statue unveiling, Moore’s father, retired NYPD Sgt. Ray Moore, will attend a ceremony at the New York Police Department headquarters during which his son’s name will be placed into the “hall of heroes” of fallen officers. He is to attend another ceremony in Washington, D.C., to mark the addition of his son’s name to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
The Plainedge ceremony will be more personal, Moore said.
“Police band together because it’s a band of blue,” he said. “This is people who have a personal bond with Brian, who knew him from the community where he grew up and played ball.”
Brian Moore’s mother, Irene Moore, said she hoped the ceremony would be more a remembrance of a brave man who gave his life in the service of others than an expression of grief.
“Our focus really should be celebrating his life and the fact that he was a hero,” she said.