ALBANY — Robert J. Johnson, a former Northville police officer was honored at the State of New York Police Officers Memorial Remembrance Ceremony Tuesday at the Empire State Plaza.
Johnson was among 50 others being recognized at the Fallen Officers’ Memorial, with each of their names now inscribed on the New York Police Officers’ Memorial.
Johnson was a retired Gloversville Police Officer who then continued to serve as a part time village of Northville police officer. He died on July 4, 2017 while assisting a motorist on Route 30 in Northampton.
“I think it’s an honor to be part of the ceremony,” said Northville Mayor John Spaeth. “He was a wonderful person, a wonderful human being. It’s sad, but very honorable.”
The ceremony opened with Procession and Massing of the Colors by Police Honor Guards and Pipe Bands, Posting of the Colors by Sergeant Jaime Alvear of the New York State Police and “The Star Spangled Banner” performed by Police Officer William Bove of the New York City Police Department.
Rabbi Isaac Heschel gave a prayer for the survivors. “We pray to you with great heart and strength to the families, loved ones, friends and colleagues for those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Heschel stated in the prayer.
Followed by the prayer, New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan made a statement at the ceremony.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful day, and while its a somber occasion, I think it’s very important we recognize not only the [quality] of life, but the beauty of life,” Flanagan said. “To all the families, friends and supporters who are here, I just say thank you from the bottom of my heart as an elected official, a state senator.”
Father Joseph D’Angelo gave a prayer for the safety of the police officers. “We pray for all those who continue to serve us each day, for the protection of our police officers in our great state of New York and in our nation,” D’Angelo said.
Along with the Placing of the Wreath, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul also gave a statement and shook the hands of each of the survivors of the fallen officers being recognized.
“I thank you for your service and your sacrifice, but most of all today I want to speak to the families,” Hochul said. “You’re here to pay tribute to your loved ones and I have no doubt in my mind [when] you woke up this morning, you were worried about the fact that this would rip open emotional scars that were just beginning to heal. But you have the courage to represent your loved one here today, and for that we are grateful, because I believe showing up matters.”
The ceremony ended with “Amazing Grace” performed by the New York Police Department Pipe Band, a rifle salute by the New York State Police Troop G Rifle