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State Senate votes to rename part of parkway for Steven McDonald

NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, with his wife, Patti

NYPD Det. Steven McDonald, with his wife, Patti Ann, at their Malverne home in 2007, died Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2017, four days after suffering an apparent heart attack. Photo Credit: George Tsourovakas

ALBANY — The state Senate began a process Wednesday to rename part of a Long Island parkway after NYPD Det. Steven McDonald of Malverne, in a ceremony his wife called “amazing” and “beautiful.”

The Senate passed a bill that would rename a section of the Southern State Parkway.

The renamed portion, called the “Detective Steven McDonald Memorial Highway,” would run from the Belt Parkway to the Meadowbrook State Parkway.

The state Assembly also must pass the measure. The bill has yet to be formally introduced in that chamber.

McDonald died in January, more than three decades after a line-of-duty shooting in Central Park in 1986 left him a quadriplegic.

Eight months after the shooting, the NYPD officer forgave Shavod Jones, the teenager who shot him. McDonald used that as a turning point to begin preaching to community leaders, students and fellow police officers about the power of forgiveness.

“The legacy of Steven McDonald is something that reminds us of the possibility of the enduring human spirit . . . about the possibility of love and opening up your heart,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said during the Senate ceremony.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) called McDonald a “real, genuine hero . . . a role model in so many different ways.”

Malverne Mayor Patti McDonald, the late officer’s wife, was in attendance in the Senate chamber, along with about 50 supporters including police officers, friends and Conor McDonald, the couple’s son who was born six months after McDonald was shot. Conor McDonald is an NYPD sergeant.

“What I think was so beautiful was not just recognizing Steven but all police officers and what they do for everybody — and that’s what Steven would want,” Patti McDonald said afterward.

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