When you’re a cop, a life and death decision can come at any moment.
It’s inherent in the job description: any step you make can go sideways with terrible consequences.
That’s why, when Police Officers Paul O’Connor and Robert Orlando were flagged down by a woman near the Canarsie train station, they never knew that they were going to come face to face with a gunman – and that their decisions would lead them to be named the 69th Precinct’s “Cops of the Month” for August.
During Tuesday’s 69th Precinct Community Council meeting, Captain Milt Marmara explained that the two officers were patrolling the neighborhood on August 26 when the woman flagged them down.
The woman said that she was walking home from the train station when a man with a gun took her property.
The officers took the woman on patrol with them and saw the suspect a few blocks away.
“They were able to chase the guy down and they found a loaded gun on his person,” said Marmara.
“These two officers make a lot of gun arrests,” Marmara said. “Every time they take a gun off the street, there’s the possibility that they will get shot or of shooting back. But they were able to make this arrest with no exchange of gunfire.”
Marmara said that his officers have gotten dozens of guns off the streets this year.
Each of these guns could have led to someone’s death, he said.
“They caught someone who could have shot somebody,” he said. “[The Cop of the Month] is our small way of recognizing these two officers.”