Landis officers pay respects to fallen NY police officer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 27, 2014

Two Landis Police officers will sit among the 25,000 expected to attend the funeral of Rafael Ramos today. Ramos was killed a week ago by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who’d posted on his social media accounts that he would kill police.

Ramos, 40, and his partner, Wenjian Liu, were sitting in their patrol car in a Brooklyn neighborhood when they were killed. Brinsley shot himself at a subway station shortly after the incident.

Detective Roger Hosey and K9 Officer Josh Barlow arrived in New York shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday via Jet Blue airlines. The airline said it would offer free flights to police officers from around the country who wanted to attend the funerals. The funeral service for Liu has not been finalized.

Hosey said he and Barlow were at the home of a fellow police officer on Christmas Eve and they were talking about the funerals. A friend of theirs posted on social media site, Facebook, that the airline would accommodate officers for free.

Hosey sent an email to Jet Blue to determine if the offer was legitimate and within two hours, he said, someone from the airline responded.

Each department could send two officers anywhere in the U.S. to New York, according to Jet Blue.

Jet Blue took care of the flight, but the cost of the hotel and other expenses related to their travel was at their own cost, Hosey said.

He said Landis Police Chief Bob Wood OK’d the trip.

Hosey said he’s been following all of the incidents that have occurred over the past several months including  in Ferguson, Mo. and in New York from a distance. In those incidents two unarmed men were killed by police officers.

“Everything that’s gone on has affected officers across the country. I don’t know that I feel we are under extra pressure. I think officers feel disenfranchised. It feels as though media attention is on negative law enforcement. I thought it was a good gesture for our guys,” Hosey said.

He called the decision to go to New York a “symbolic gesture of solidarity.”

“We are proud to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in blue of the NYPD. Although this is a sad and solemn occasion, it is a great honor to represent our department and the citizens of Landis,” Hosey said.

Barlow was raised and grew up in western New York and very much wanted to be there.

“It’s why I got into enforcement — for the brotherhood and the close-knit family. And being from New York that’s what it’s about,” Barlow said.

He said he’s glad chief Wood “gave us the go ahead to come here.”

“I couldn’t be more happy to be part of it and at the same time its a solemn occasion,” Barlow said.

He added he was grateful to be apart of the occasion.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.