Adams addresses the deaths of veteran NYPD detective, FDNY member and priest due to coronavirus

March 31, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Adams addresses the deaths of veteran NYPD detective, FDNY member and priest due to coronavirus
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BOROUHWIDE — As the coronavirus continues to devastate New York City, Borough President Eric Adams addressed the deaths of local heroes.

He discussed the lives of 49-year-old Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay of Brooklyn, 55-year-old FDNY ambulance mechanic James Villecco of Staten Island, and 48-year-old veteran NYPD detective Cedric Dixon.

Each of them died due to complications from the virus.

Mourning local heroes

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragedy growing in magnitude every day,” Adams said. “We are losing our mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, friends and neighbors, colleagues and mentors. Every soul that leaves us is one we must come together to uplift, even while we are physically separated.”

He discussed the death of Ortiz-Garay.


“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and parishioners of Reverend Jorge Ortiz-Garay of St. Brigid’s Church in Bushwick,” he said. “Reverend Ortiz-Garay was widely beloved in Brooklyn’s Mexican-American community and he will be deeply missed by all those whose lives he touched.”

He also acknowledged Villecco and Dixon.


“We also come together to mourn the loss of James Villecco, a US Army veteran and ambulance mechanic from Staten Island who is the first FDNY fatality due to COVID-19,” Adams said. “James was a hero who supported the medical care of our city, and we send our deep sympathies to his family, friends, and colleagues.”


He added that, “Additionally, as a retired member of the NYPD, I share in grieving the loss of Detective Cedric G. Dixon, the first officer we have lost to COVID-19. NYPD officers go out every day and brave unexpected situations to keep our city safe, and we join Detective Dixon’s family, friends, and colleagues in remembering a great man who protected and served us for 22 years.”

He concluded his message by paying tribute to essential workers and bringing the borough together during the trying times.

“There has never been a time quite like this for us to call on the spirit of One Brooklyn. We must be Brooklyn Strong to get through the months ahead, and I know we will,” concluded Adams.

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