Written by Richard Liebson
WHITE PLAINS — A section of Route 119 between the Westchester County Center and Main Street has been renamed Detective Michael Perry Memorial Highway in honor of the city police officer who died from a heart attack after chasing and capturing a larceny suspect last year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law, drafted by Assemblyman Robert Castelli, on Thursday.
“It’s a small testament to a brave man’s actions, and is indicative of the kind of courage displayed by police officers every day in our society,” Castelli said in a statement. “Sadly, his courageous efforts on that day had a tragic ending, but do not diminish the legacy he left us, of a lifetime of dedication to public service.”
Perry, a seven-year veteran of the city police department died June 13, 2010, after chasing a shoplifting suspect from the Galleria mall and capturing him on Court Street. He collapsed after bringing the suspect, who had more than 300 earlier arrests, to police headquarters. Perry, the first city cop to die in the line of duty in decades, was posthumously promoted to the rank of detective. Hundreds of police from throughout the state attended his funeral in his hometown of Yorktown.
“Each day, brave men and women like Michael Perry got to work without knowing if they’ll return home,” said state Sen. Greg Ball, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. “Dedicating this highway to Michael is the least we can do to honor his memory and thank his family for their sacrifice.”
Earlier in the summer, on the anniversary of his death, White Plains dedicated a part of Court Street as Michael Perry Way.
Perry’s name has also been added to the state and national law enforcement officer memorials. (ARTICLE)