On May 4, the NYPD laid one of its own to rest a week after he was killed by a suspected drunken driver in a hit-and-run incident.
Officer Anastasios Tsakos, a 14-year veteran of the department, was fatally struck on April 27 while assisting officers at the scene of an earlier crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens.
Tsakos, 43, was part of the department’s highway unit and was proud of his work in helping make the city’s streets safer, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea shared. According to The Washington Post, the commissioner posthumously promoted Tsakos to detective first grade. Tsakos is survived by his wife Irene and their two young children, a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
“We stand here this morning reminded once again, in law enforcement, there is no such thing as a routine job,” Shea said at the funeral service, per ABC 7. “We stand here devastated and trying to pick up the pieces of what is a shattered home and a shattered NYPD family.”
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a nonprofit organization started after 9/11 to support first responders and military servicemembers and their families, stepped up to help ease the Tsakos family’s pain during such a tragic time. The organization announced that it will pay off the mortgage the family’s East Northport home, which they had just moved into last summer, WBBM Newsradio reports.
Tsakos’ wife Irene was reportedly concerned about whether the family would be able to keep their home. “She told me what are we going to do now? Am I going to have to move again?” the officer’s brother, Teddy, said, per WBBM.
But Tunnel to Towers CEO and Chairman Frank Siller promptly put those worries to rest, telling Teddy and Irene, “Don’t worry the kids are going to grow up in this house.”
“We are devastated by this tragic loss. Officer Tsakos was one of our city’s heroes who went to work to keep us and our city safe and he did not make it home to his wife and children,” Siller said. “A family went to bed and woke up to the unimaginable news that they would never see their husband and father again.”
Tunnels to Towers routinely donates mortgage-free homes to fallen heroes. Siller told reporters that by the end of 2021, “the foundation will have delivered over 370 mortgage-free homes.”
We applaud Tunnels to Towers for their work in supporting the families of the fallen, and we offer our condolences to the Tsakos family and the NYPD.