Mohit Arora, the Nassau police officer who was shot during a New Hyde Park home invasion two years ago, has been promoted to sergeant, officials said Thursday.
Arora, an eight-year department veteran working in the Third Precinct, scored well on the "highly competitive" sergeant's exam, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Thursday at a brief ceremony in which he and other officials heaped praise on Arora, who was promoted last month.
Mangano called Arora "a true local hero" and "a wonderful example" of the department's officers.
"Many officers, after suffering a line-of-duty injury such as a gunshot to the pelvis and hip, would understandably want to be reassigned off the streets," Mangano said. "And some may want a career change. But not Sgt. Arora."
Arora was shot Aug. 14, 2013, while responding to a 911 call reporting a break-in. Cong Xu, 22, a Chinese national living in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty earlier this year to firing a gun and shooting Arora as the officer responded. Xu was sentenced this year to 30 years in prison.
His accomplice, Renhang Qiu, 22 and living in Brooklyn, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his role as the would-be getaway driver.
Arora, who joined the force in 2007, had to undergo a series of surgeries and physical therapy as part of his recovery.
He returned to work months after the shooting but took time off for a surgery before returning full-time several months ago.
Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Arora's determination to return to work was "never diminished."
"To this day, he still has bullet fragments in his head, which doctors consider too dangerous to remove," Krumpter said. "He has been an inspiration to his fellow officers and colleagues."
Arora said it was important to him to get back to work.
"I love being a cop; it was always my dream," Arora said.
Arora, who was an officer with the NYPD for three years before being hired by Nassau, has received several department awards, including the medal of distinguished service and purple heart. He also was named a "Top Cop" by the Nassau Police Benevolent Association.
Brian Hoesl, president of the department's Superior Officers' Association, said Arora, whom he called "dedicated to the job," is one of 31 officers promoted on the most recent exam.
"We're very happy for him," Hoesl said. "We're glad he scored well on the test. We're happy to welcome him to the union."
Does the newly minted sergeant plan to continue to rise in the ranks -- maybe become commissioner one day?
"I didn't think of that yet," Arora said. "But you never know."