Rousing standing ovations of appreciation and gratitude came from hundreds of NYPD families and friends who cheered the promotions of their loved ones with special recognition to Kevin Brennan and Kevin Herlihy, officers who were both shot in the line of duty.
The two Long Island officers' families -- with children and grandparents in tow -- sat together Friday morning in the front four rows at the NYPD Promotion Ceremony at police headquarters in lower Manhattan.
Officer Kevin Herlihy, of Lynbrook, who has recovered after being shot in the arm Feb. 14 by a suspect wanted for murder, was promoted to detective first grade.
Herlihy, an 18-year veteran who lives in Garden City Park, sat next to Officer Kevin P. Brennan, a six-year veteran, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head on Jan. 31. Both men sat front and center before taking their oaths. Brennan was promoted to detective.
In a news conference after the ceremonies, Brennan said, "I was fighting back tears" when taking his oath to be detective. He said his recovery "is a slow process with counseling and physical therapy. I still have pain in my neck and shoulders.
"But I'm getting better every day and the pain will be gone in the next few month," said Brennan, whose bullet nearly hit his brain. "I think I'm the luckiest guy on the planet."
Herlihy told reporters he was focusing on his recovery and keeping the stress at a bare minimum. "I am taking care of the kids and pleasing the wife. If she's happy I'm happy."
Doctors called the recovery of Brennan, shot in the head at close range, a miracle.
He was released from the hospital 10 days after being shot and when he returned to his home he said he was looking forward to spending time with his family, especially his baby daughter, Maeve.
The suspect in Brennan's shooting, Luis Ortiz, 21, of Brooklyn, has been indicted on a charge of first-degree murder and is being held without bail.
With Kery Murakami, Anthony M. DeStefano, Matthew Chayes and Ellen Yan.