The little boys of a slain NYPD officer from Greenlawn held onto their mom Wednesday as she implored the people of the Bronx neighborhoods he patrolled to remember him always.
Speaking at a street-naming ceremony for her husband, Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo, widow Lisa Tuozzolo said her husband loved his 19 years on the force, and always made his family and fellow officers feel safe.
“Paul loved serving this community. He was a kind, gentle soul, and nothing could rattle him,” she said. “In the most challenging of situations, Paul’s favorite thing to say was, ‘easy peasy’ or, ‘I’ve got this.’ ”
She added: “He couldn’t wait to come home to the loves of his life, Austin and Joseph, and nothing made him happier than hearing his boys run to him once he opened the garage door at the end of the work day.”
Purdy Street at St. Raymond Avenue is now also named in honor of “Sergeant Paul J. Tuozzolo.” His sons helped pull a rope unveiling the sign.
Wednesday morning’s ceremony took place over the distant squeals of schoolchildren playing at nearby schools — making the Parkchester intersection a fitting tribute to Tuozzolo, who relished being a role model for his boys and others’, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The naming is temporary; for the honor to be permanent, the City Council must pass special legislation, a biannual process next set for December for all such honors citywide.
De Blasio called Tuozzolo, killed on Nov. 4, 2016, “a leader who put his fellow officers first and a family man.”
Tuozzolo, 41, died after being shot by Manuel Rosales, 35, of Brentwood, while answering a 911 call reporting a disturbance at the home of the gunman’s estranged wife. Rosales was in turn shot and killed by the police.
The shooting left Tuozzolo’s sons, Joseph, 4, and Austin, 5, fatherless.
“He was killed doing his job, keeping people safe,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. He added: “Paul’s name is now etched in our geography.”