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Thread: Great story!
06-24-08, 11:50 PM #1
Cop rallies nabe after death of boy, 2; just wanted to help his family
Tuesday, June 24th 2008, 12:23 AM
Sabo/News Community Affairs Police Officer Dimas Cortez, 34, of the 40th Precinct in Mott Haven, the Bronx.
The electric outlet had no safety plug to keep 2-year-old Josian Garcia Camacho from sticking in a key as any kid his age might.
The Bronx boy was beyond saving when firefighters and paramedics arrived last Tuesday night.
The 40th Precinct stationhouse is directly next door and the next day Community Affairs Police Officer Dimas Cortez appeared at the family's fifth floor apartment.
"I said, 'I'm just here to see how I can help you,'" Cortez recalls.
The dead boy's father held out a paper on which a local funeral home had written an estimate of $4,700. This was about $4,700 more than the grieving family could manage. Cortez understood they were destitute as well as devastated.
Cortez told the father to give him a little time. The cop went to another funeral home, the La Paz on 149th St. La Paz immediately agreed to provide the coffin and the funeral gratis.
"They opened their arms and said, 'Whatever you need for this family,'" Cortez remembers.
There remained the $350 cost of flying the boy to his native Mexico and the $250 for burial there. Cortez conferred at the stationhouse with the PBA delegate, Police Officer Brian McGuckin.
"We said, 'We have to do something,'" Cortez recalls.
Even cops who are feeling a pinch supporting their families reached into their pockets. A single roll call kicked in $700. The cops kept giving and the total collection was $1,740.
"They GAVE," McGuckin says. "It was definitely the whole command."
Cortez and McGuckin visited all three firehouses in the precinct. The firefighters were just as quick to kick in.
The wake was on Friday, and a fire lieutenant presented the grieving family with envelopes containing $750 in addition to what the cops raised to help them through the bleak days ahead.
The boy lay in his coffin clad in a white suit and shoes that Cortez had bought at Angel's clothing store.
"All my son would talk about is cops and firemen," the mother told Cortez in Spanish.
Five of the fire rigs that once thrilled the boy parked outside La Paz as firefighters knelt two at a time before the tiny coffin.
The cops did the same and the 40th Precinct provided a floral arrangement in addition to those donated by a local florist. The legendary battle of the badges seemed just so much bunk.
At 7 p.m., everyone joined in prayer led by the Rev. John Grange. The family brought the cops' flowers home and set them before a makeshift altar that included photos of the boy, religious figures, a candle and a slice of watermelon.
The flowers still smelled fresh and the candle was still flickering when I visited the apartment Monday. I gazed at a photomontage of Josian climbing rocks.
"In the park," a male relative said.
A female relative came out with the youngest of the three surviving children, a smiling 4-month-old named Yahir.
"A boy," the woman said.
At the stationhouse next door, Cortez was busy contacting companies that might donate safety outlet plugs to be distributed at the big fair on Third Ave. on Sunday. A number of his friends had urged him to call the media and get some credit for himself and the 40th Precinct.
"I said, 'No, we know in our hearts what we of the 4-0 and the firemen did,' " he recalled
In fact, you would not be reading this story now if a firefighter had not called me to marvel at this community affairs cop and what his comrades had done.
"We aren't looking for recognition," Cortez said. "We were just looking to help."
firstname.lastname@example.orgFor the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.
06-24-08, 11:51 PM #2
I just saw that on the news, that's a great story!
06-25-08, 12:01 AM #3
Gotta love those firefighters.
I know he didn't want to draw attention to himself or his precinct but maybe there is a plus side to this. Maybe even more people will want to help as well and this exposure might provide the extra avenue for others to pursue.
Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.
Not a LEO
In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.
06-25-08, 01:45 AM #4
Gotta love those firefighters.
Sad story about the boy, great job done by the 4-OH! Hopefully a corp kicks up some of the safety plugs for the neighbood kids. Shame it takes a tragedy to bring out the awareness of certain dangers, kids will can get into anything. May the little boy rest in peace!
06-25-08, 03:44 AM #5
Was there any doubt that they would all work together to help a family in need? I've seen instances like this many times, thats what law enforcement and fire fighters do protect and serve. Do people do LE for the money or the great working hours or the superb working condiions? No, in their heart of hearts its for the people, to make a difference and having it noticed isn't important, it isn't done for the kudos recieved but for the satisfaction of a job well done.
Rest in peace, little Josian, God has called you home.
My dad, I miss him every day.
Originally Posted by Wolven
Life is too short to wear unsexy underwear.
I am a female!!!!! LMAO
Be who you are and say what you feel.....
Because those that matter...don't mind...
And those that mind...don't matter
06-25-08, 03:52 AM #6
Thats an awesome story.
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