MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Town Board and Carmel Police Department are looking to pay tribute to late Carmel Police Officer Gary Pietropaolo by dedicating the Croton Falls Road entranceway into the police department parking lot in his name.
Pietropaolo was killed Thursday, June 7, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a U.S. postal truck on Route 301 in Kent. He was off-duty at the time.
Pietropaolo was a Fishkill resident who joined the Carmel PD in March 2016. He was scheduled to get married last weekend.
“Since he started, he really shined as a police officer,” Supervisor Ken Schmitt said of Pietropaolo. “He was very active in his capacity as a police officer. Law enforcement was his passion. He could have worked anywhere in the state of New York, that’s how bright a young man he was. He excelled in every aspect of law enforcement and we are fortunate that he chose us to pick up on his law enforcement career. He started at SUNY New Paltz and transferred over here in 2016.
“It really is an unbelievable and horrific loss to the town,” Schmitt continued. “We are all saddened and heartbroken for the entire community and the Pietropaolo family.”
Police Chief Mike Cazzari said the dedication would be a fitting tribute.
“I believe it would be an honor that anytime anyone drives into the parking lot from Croton Falls Road, to see a sign out there,” he said. “It is not a road, it is just a driveway, but if we could dedicate that with a sign that says ‘PO Gary Pietropaolo,’ [it would be great]. I spoke with the sign company and they can put his badge on it.”
Cazzari said Pietropaolo’s family is in favor of the idea.
“His parents want him never to be forgotten and this is one thing that we can do besides things like scholarships that can be done down the line through the PBA,” the chief said.
Cazzari said he’s still looking at signs and will check the police department budget to find money to pay for it.
“It is something we will see every day, which is nice,” he said.
Schmitt said that once the sign is in place and ready, the town will hold a dedication ceremony.
“It would be nice to have a ceremony at the unveiling of the sign…and have the family here, too,” he said. “It is a small thing we can do to pay tribute.”