The family of fallen Police Officer Kim Cassas returned to the neighborhood where their loved one once patrolled with both passion and dedication last Wednesday to receive a special award as the 10th anniversary of her murder nears. The award handed down posthumously for a woman who continually smiled as she went about her job, even as her unraveling marriage would take an unexpected turn for the worse and end in her death, was the first honor given in a day filled with accolades at the 68th Precincts Medal Day celebration, held at the Norwegian Christian Center at 1270 67th Street in Dyker Heights. Cassas sister, mother, father and stepfather were on hand to receive the award from Deputy Inspector William Aubry, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, as Assistant Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, looked on. Police said that Cassas was murdered by her estranged husband John on January 13, 1996 in what was first believed to be a suicide. Investigators later determined that her husband had stolen her gun, which he later used to kill her and then set the scene so it appeared she had taken her own life. Police said that the shooting, which occurred in Bath Beach, took place in front of her son, who was only a few months old. Officials said that after several months, Cassas husband was charged with the crime and later convicted, said friends, who knew all along that she couldnt have killed herself. We knew that she would never do that [kill herself], said one officer, as she praised the fallen cops memory. Kim loved live way to much to do something like that. Cops who remember Cassas pushed to have the walkway in Dyker Park Golf Course named in her memory. Each year, cops from the 68th Precinct host a golf outing day in her memory, proceeds of which go to her sons education. Deputy Inspector Aubry said that the posthumous honor proves that the NYPD never forget those that put on the uniform and dedicate their lives to law enforcement and protecting the community. Standing nattily in their uniforms before family and friends, several dozen police officers received awards during the Medal Day festivities, mostly for Excellent Police Duty and Meritorious Police Duty. A lot of the awardees are younger police officers who get up every day, put on the uniform and go out there and do a great job, said Aubry. Its only fitting that we honor them for all the work that they do. The days guest speaker was Fox 5 News reporter Michael Sheehan, a retired NYPD Detective. Special awards were given to Police Administrative Aide Lisbel Malave, named 68th Precinct Civilian of the Year and Auxiliary Deputy Inspector Rose Raccuglia, who was named 68th Precinct Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year. Michael Proscia, president of Blue Diamond Fuel Oil, was named Community Person of the Year. Police Officer Russel Kain, the precincts community affairs officer, was named 68th Precinct Cop of the Year. Everyone in the community will tell you that Officer Kains commitment to Bay Ridge and is residents is unbelievable, said Aubry.
©2005 Community News Group
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