Heroes from 2017 courthouse fire and Latino courts officers honored during Law Day
A group of court officers and clerks who played a heroic role in safely evacuating court employees and visitors during a fire at Brooklyn’s Criminal Court last year were honored along with the founding members of the Latino Court Officers Society yesterday.
There ceremony was held at the Court of Appeals with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore presiding over the NYS Unified Court System’s annual celebration of Law Day.
The speakers included Chief Judge DiFiore, state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, and NYSBA President Sharon Stern Gerstman. This year’s Law Day theme was about the fundamental role of the separation of powers in preserving liberties and advancing rights.
There will be a total of 39 people to receive the 2018 Judith S. Kaye Service Awards for Heroism including the group that helped keep people safe during the May 2017 fire in the Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Those include court officers Sgt. Thomas Cirola, Shaqwan Gardner, Sgt. John Harte, Thomas Hickey, Anthony Morgan, Edward Rossiello, Sgt. Joseph Scafidi, Darien Wagner, as well as clerks Kenneth Fay and Antonio Diaz.
All of the founding members of the Latino Court Officers Society will be honored with the Judith S. Kaye Service Award for Community Service. They include its President Jessica Hernandez and officers Rafael Nieves, Erica Prosper, Ishaira Garcia, Daniel Vega, Dennis Duque, Mark Hirschman and other members. Sarifa John and Felix Fernandez are in the Brooklyn contingent.
“President Hernandez and the executive board want to personally thank all of our members and especially those being honored,” said a statement issued on behalf of the society. “We thank you for your outstanding representation of The Society via your compassion and humanity to the community.”
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