Slain officer remembered for years of dedicated service
Rochester police Officer Tony Mazurkiewicz is being remembered as a solid street cop, a decorated and good natured officer — the kind of public servant people want patrolling their streets.
Mazurkiewicz was shot and killed and another officer was injured Thursday night in northeast Rochester.
Bob Duffy was a deputy chief when Mazurkiewicz was sworn in. He said Mazurkiewicz was well-known, well-liked, and respected.
“Tony Mazurkiewicz was just that kind of police officer this community was very, very lucky to have for 29 years," Duffy said, adding that the 54-year-old Mazurkiewicz could have retired earlier and looked at a variety of career choices, but he wanted to continue serving the community.
At the police union headquarters on Friday, Locust Club President Mike Mazzeo, told a room full of officers that it’s difficult to express how devastating this loss is.
“There’s no way to accurately express the pain that’s in our hearts,” Mazzeo said. “But right now, the most important mission we have is to support Tony’s wife, Lynn, the children, his parents and all of his extended family, which includes everyone in this room.”
Mazzeo said this is a time for the community to come together.
Cedric Alexander, who was chief of the Rochester Police Department in 2005, and has continued to provide law enforcement analysis for media outlets such as CNN, is also trained in clinical psychology.
He said that the death of an officer hits especially hard for a tight-knit group, like those in a police department.
“You develop a friendship and a bond, and if you’re a member of the police family, they know exactly what I’m talking about,” Alexander said. “So it is sad, and it leaves everyone feeling sad and hurt and angry and wondering what could have been different to keep it from happening.”
Alexander said that it’s common for organizations like the RPD to have employee assistance programs that can help people on staff having difficulty dealing with a loss like this, but he said that in a police department, it’s often the person-to-person emotional support among officers that is valuable.