The NYPD officer who was seriously injured in an attack by a hatchet-wielding man in October 2014 was promoted to detective Friday in a ceremony at police headquarters in Manhattan.
For Kenneth Healey, 28, who lives in Oceanside, his bump in rank is a dream come true. His father is a retired Nassau County police detective.
“It means a lot to me,” Healey said before the ceremony, during which 151 NYPD officers received promotions. “Before I came on the job it was my goal to become a detective or sergeant.”
That goal was put in serious jeopardy when a disturbed man pulled a hatchet out of his backpack and attacked Healey on a street in Jamaica, Queens. Healey was struck in the back of the head as he stood with two other cops, who shot and killed the attacker.
Healey was hospitalized and had to go through more than a year of grueling rehabilitation, during which he feared he might not return to work.
“When it first happened, I couldn’t feel the left side of my body at all. I couldn’t see on my left side. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t dress myself. I couldn’t tie my shoes,” Healey recalled. “To get back to work was the main goal.”
Healey, whose brother John became an NYPD officer in 2015, received the department’s Medal of Honor in June 2016. He is currently assigned to Queens North and is expected to remain there. His new rank will be detective investigator.
At the ceremony, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill gave a special shout-out to Healey, saying he was attacked because he was a cop.
O’Neill also made special mention of audience member Lisa Tuozzolo, the widow of NYPD Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo of Huntington, who was killed in action last year.