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Fallen officers from LI honored

Dori Capano, center, gathers with family and ATF

Dori Capano, center, gathers with family and ATF agents near the etched name of her husband, John F. Capano, at the New York State Police Officers Memorial in Albany. (May 8, 2012) Credit: Photo by Charles Eckert

ALBANY -- As the rain poured on a crowd of police officers, lawmakers and family members, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy Tuesday honored those in law enforcement who lost their lives in 2011.

The state added the names of 27 officers, nine of whom died in the line of duty, to the New York State Police Officers Memorial in an annual ceremony.

"The weather is fitting today because this is the kind of weather cops go out and work in every single day, bad weather, rain, snow, cold," Duffy said. "They're out to serve our communities and to serve our state and put their lives on the line. They give us a quality of life that we would not have without them."

Four officers who either lived or served on Long Island when they were killed last year were added to the black granite wall that now lists 1,324 names:

Nassau County Police Officer Michael J. Califano died on Feb. 5 after his patrol car was struck from behind when he had stopped a vehicle in Old Westbury.

Nassau County Police Officer Geoffrey J. Breitkopf was killed on March 12 after he was mistakenly shot by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority officer in Massapequa Park as they responded to a call about a disturbed individual.

New York City Police Department Det. Peter J. Figoski of West Babylon was shot and killed by a burglary suspect on Dec. 12 in Brooklyn.

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Senior Special Agent John F. Capano was shot and killed by accident when he intervened in a pharmacy robbery in Seaford on Dec. 31.

The ceremony began with bagpipers leading a procession of hundreds of police officers from around the state across the Capitol Mall to the memorial.

Rabbi Issac Heschel led a prayer for the safety of police officers. "We pray for the day when war, hate and bloodshed will be no more and no more names will be added to this wall of heroes," Heschel said.

In addition to those who died in the line of duty last year, the names of 13 members of the NYPD who died from Ground Zero-related illnesses and five officers from across the state who fell from 1791 to 2009 were added.

"Hopefully, people will come away from this ceremony and appreciate what police men and women sacrifice every day," said Ron Marciano, a retired detective from the Nassau County Police Department.

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