Genesis Villella wept Thursday recounting how she always worried that her mom would be killed in the line of duty — and how she would become even more anxious when she heard that another officer had been struck down.
Then, a year ago, a mentally ill man fatally shot her mother, Officer Miosotis Familia of the NYPD’s 46th precinct in the Bronx. The gunman, Alexander Bonds, fired on Familia once and was killed minutes later by other officers after he drew a .38-caliber handgun.
On Thursday, the NYPD commemorated the anniversary of Familia’s death by naming a street near the 46th Precinct in her honor: Ryer Avenue and East 181st Street is now Detective Miosotis Familia Way. Familia, a 12-year veteran of the force, was promoted posthumously to first-grade detective.
“To be a police officer, in a great city like this, as great as it is, unfortunately evil does lurk sometimes in our streets, and every day ever since my mom became a police officer, I worried about her,” Villella said.
Familia, 48, was the third female NYPD officer to die in the line of duty. She left behind Villella, 21, and 13-year-old twins, Jacob and Delilah.
At the ceremony, also attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, Villella recalled conversations she had with her mom.
“Every time she arrested someone who beat their girlfriends, beat their wives, abused their children or terrorized those on the streets, that when she was able to put them behind bars, or when she was able to apprehend them, that she felt like she was truly making a difference,” Villella said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio noted that Familia was slain as Americans were celebrating Independence Day.
“I don’t know if our founding fathers could have pictured Detective Miosotis Familia centuries later, but they would have been proud of her,” he said, adding: “She was taken from us on the very day we celebrate our founding as a country.”