Nearly 300 NYPD officers and civilians were promoted to sergeant, detective and administrative posts Thursday by Commissioner William Bratton, who lauded the men and women as the next wave of leaders who will help the department face terrorist threats and crime that is “taking new shapes and forms through social media.”
“We are seeking to stay ahead of the surge of threats and we as a department must focus on our skills and improve our skills to respond,” said Bratton, who addressed several hundred families and friends who attended the picture taking ceremony at One Police Plaza’s auditorium. The commissioner also was quick to note that the past year had been a time of “great contradictions’’ referring to the loss of four police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
Taking a silent pause, Bratton said “the murder of four officers is reflective of the issues of the every day dangers we face ... We need to remember their sacrifice for a safer city.”
NYPD officers “keep the city safe because that is what we do in the greatest police department the world has ever seen,“ Bratton said as the ceremony concluded.
One of the officers promoted to sergeant was Kenneth Boss of Bohemia. Boss was one of four officers involved in the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old West African immigrant who was shot at 41 times in the doorway of his Bronx apartment in 1999. Boss and the officers were part of a special plain clothes crime unit. Diallo, a street vendor, was struck 19 times by police bullets. Police believed he was carrying a gun. A gun was never found. The officers were later acquitted by an Albany jury.
Dressed in his blue uniform Boss received cheers from the audience as he accepted his promotion from Bratton. “I wish him congratulations,’’ said Michael Palladino, president of the Detective Endowment Association, who spoke with reporters after the ceremony. “This was certainly a tragedy, but he was acquitted after a full-blown investigation,’’ Palladino said. “He took the test like everyone else.’’
The Diallo family settled with the city for $3 million in 2004 after filing a $60 million lawsuit. The city did not admit any wrongdoing.