West Caldwell Police Officers Corporal Bill Styskal and Patrolman Pat Cooper Honor Fallen NYPD Officers Wenjain Liu and Rafael Ramos with T-Shirt Sales Donations
WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Members of the West Caldwell Police Department recently honored the memories of two New York City Police Officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed in December. After traveling into the city to attend both funeral proceedings, Corporal William Styskal and Patrolman Patrick Cooper then participated in a t-shirt sale which was part of a fundraiser for the officers' families.
On the evening of Saturday, Dec. 20, New York Police Commissioner William Bratton held a press conference stating that, at about 2:47pm that afternoon, NYPD officers Liu and Ramos were killed while on duty. He said that they were guarding a housing unit in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn which had seen an increase in violence this past year and were shot in the front seat of their police car.
The suspect was identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, of Atlanta. Witnesses recounted that they saw him shoot several times through the passenger side of the window striking both officers in the head. He was chased by nearby officers to a subway station where police believe he shot himself and died.
"Two of the city's finest were shot and killed with no warning,
Both Officers Ramos and Liu had served in the 84th Precinct; Ramos for two years and Liu for seven and a half. After their deaths, both officers were posthumously promoted to the rank of detective. Ramos left behind a wife and two young sons and Liu was survived by his wife of two months.
In an effort to honor their memories, as well as solicit donations on behalf of the family members, officers from the 84th coordinated with a local t-shirt producer who manufactured the shirts for free so that 100 percent of their money raised would go to the officer's families.
Styskal first became aware of the fundraising project through the non-profit website, LEO Only, which was created for law enforcement professionals, both active and retired, to help provide for the families of fallen officers. The web group promoted the t-shirt sales to its members and the 84th Precinct itself placed fliers announcing the fundraiser throughout all of the city police districts. Styskal, who is nearing retirement in July after 25 years of service, explained that he felt a close connection to the NYPD. He had attended both memorials for the officers and wanted to do something for the families; he decided to help with the fundraising project.
"I felt it was important to get involved in a bigger way
Styskal enlisted Cooper, a West Caldwell officer for 9 years, to help him spread the word and work with him to collect, sell and distribute the t-shirts.
"Officer Cooper was great, he was very willing to help me," Styskal commented.
Styskal comes from a line that has law enforcement family members going as far back as 1895 and 1920. Their willingness to make a difference may be genetic; Styskal's son Joey, 9, accompanied him to the 84th Precinct and wanted to do whatever he could to show his respect and sympathy for the Liu and Ramos families. The officers of the NYPD 84th were touched by his concern and his presence.
According to Styskal, as of Monday the 84th Precinct had produced and sold over 10,000 shirts at $20 each. Every part of that $200,000 went to Officers Liu and Ramos' families and the Precinct had another batch set for production on Friday.
The Liu and Ramos families have received an enormous amount of community support and have also been gifted with financial contributions designated to help with their mortgages, college funds and daily expenses. The West Caldwell officers presented the 84th Precinct with a check for $3,100; they were told that of all the groups who participated in selling t-shirts, they were second only to the Manhattan South Precinct in highest donations by a single group.
The 84th presented the Department with an NYPD patch from their department and in turn, the West Caldwell officers presented them with one of their own. The West Caldwell Police Department patch will be displayed at the front desk of the 84th, along with patches from officers around the country who came to support the NYPD and the Ramos and Liu family.
"They were overwhelming thankful for all our support and
The 84th has a special memorial area set up in commemoration of all those who have died from their Precinct in the line of duty.
"Being a cop is a humbling experience and