Tributes to Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora – two NYPD officers slain in the line of duty earlier this year – were added to a memorial wall at the Harlem precinct where they were assigned.
Police officials, fellow officers and loved ones of the fallen officers gathered outside the 32nd Precinct Friday afternoon for a ceremony before they moved into the stationhouse, where the redesigned Line of Duty Death Memorial Wall was unveiled.
“Detectives Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera were two promising and exceptional officers,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
“As we unveil the plaques upon the wall of the 32, the names of our heroes will forever be memorialized for the next generation of the NYPD to honor,” the top cop added. “They now join their fellow fallen officers of the 32 who gave their lives in the storied history of service to this city.”
The redesign of the memorial wall was organized by a group of retired officers, according to Inspector Amir Yakatally, commanding officer of the 32nd Precinct.
It was transported, with a police escort, from Long Island to the station house, he said.
When the redesigned wall arrived, “it was a somber feeling that now two young men who were standing in roll call at the beginning of the year, so full of life, vigor, and future achievements, were now officially accounted for on our Wall of Heroes,” Yakatally said.
Rivera, 22, and Mora, 27, were killed when a gunman ambushed them as they responded to a Jan. 21 domestic violence call on West 135th Street.
Both officers were given ceremonious send-offs at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in February.
“Though days have gotten much harder than the last time there was a gathering, I find just a tiny bit of solace in knowing that he’s in a better place,” Dominique Rivera, wife of Jason Rivera, said Friday. “I realize that those we love never truly leave us and there are things that death cannot touch. And that’s my connection with him.”
Mora’s sister, Karina Mora, pushed for legislative change in the wake of the officers’ deaths.
“Armed violence stole the lives of young men full of dreams, exemplary people for their community,” she said in Spanish, as translated by WPIX.
“It’s been three months. We’ve been looking for answers and we still don’t have them.”
“Enough already,” she said. “Neither Wilbert’s death, nor his partner’s, nor the pain of our families, nor the pain of the community, much less my desperate calls have made you do anything to change the condition that put them in their position.”