New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced at the mass at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church that Officer Figoski was being promoted posthumously to Detective, First Grade.
The 47 year old officer's four, teenaged daughters followed his casket into the church. The veteran cop could have retired from his dangerous assignment in Brooklyn's 75th Precinct after 20 years but chose to stay on the job to help pay for his daughters' education.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly remarked on Figoski's devotion to his four girls. "His locker at the 75th precinct was covered with photos of his beloved daughters," Kelly said. "They meant everything to him."
Christine and Caitlyn are currently attending upstate colleges; Caroline and Corinne Figoski are still in high school. A scholarship fund has already raised more than $600,000 in the last week.
Figoski was killed in the early hours of December 12th, when five men planned the robbery of a pot dealer in a basement apartment at 25 Pine Street In Cypress Hills. Police say 27 year old, Lamont Pride, a career criminal from North Carolina, shot Officer Figoski at close range, as he tried to flee. Four men from Ozone Park have been charged with being his accomplices to murder.
Officer Figoski was recently divorced, but his ex-wife, Paulette, wrote a letter to him that was read at mass.
"I believe we are all on a journey," Paulette Figoski wrote. "I want to thank you for being in my life. I want to say how blessed we were to have four, beautiful daughters. Within them, they carry your wonderful values, your sense of humor, your bravery and your powerful strength."
Actor Tony Danza, a native of Cypress Hills, the neighborhood where Figoski was killed, stood at attention outside the church in Suffolk County to pay his respects, the location being watched closely by heavily-armed Swat teams, because of the thousands of uniformed cops in attendance.
"Pine Street. That's my neighborhood," Danza told PIX 11 about Cypress Hills. "That's where I come from. I come from around the corner from that house, on Euclid Avenue." Danza noted he had just attended a police widows' and orphans brunch two days before Detective Figoski was gunned down. "It broke my heart when I saw the girls crying," said Danza, a father of two daughters.
One of Figoski's colleagues from the 75th Precinct said she and many others had been crying for hours before the funeral. "He was a true officer and a gentleman," Officer Brenda Ramos told PIX 11.
A retired officer who spent years working in the same, dangerous section of East New York talked about how Figoski gave up a brief stint on desk duty to go back out on patrol. "Nobody stays in a job they don't love," Daniel Sprague observed to PIX 11. "He could have got a job anywhere. He chose to serve this great city and do God's work."
If you would like to donate to the scholarship fund set up for slain NYPD Officer Peter Figoski's four daughters, you can do it in one of two ways:
2. Mail your checks to
Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund c/o NY Police Foundation 555 Fifth Ave., 15th Floor New York, NY 10017
3. Donate by credit or debit card at www.nycpolicefoundation.org.