'One of the Safest Big Cities' -- According to DA's Office -- Averaged More Than One Murder or Manslaughter per Day in 2022
Three years ago, Jason Rivera wrote a letter to the New York City Police Academy, explaining why he wanted to be a police officer.
"When I applied to become a police officer, I knew this was the career for me," he said.
"I would be the first person in my family to become a police officer," Rivera wrote, as reported by the Daily Mail. "Coming from an immigrant family, I will be the first to say that I am a member of the NYPD, the greatest police force in the world.
"Growing up in New York City, I realized how impactful my role as a police officer would go in this chaotic city of about 10 million people," he said. "I know that something as small as helping a tourist with directions, or helping a couple resolve an issue, will put a smile on someone's face."
Rivera ended up doing something far greater than that -- but instead of putting a smile on someone's face, it put tears in their eyes.
On the evening of Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, a 911 call came in at the precinct where Rivera worked. Later that night, James Essig, the New York Police Department chief of detectives, would explain what happened when Rivera, his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, and a third officer were dispatched to answer that call.
"The 911 caller was a female who stated that she was disputing with her son," Essig told reporters. "She mentioned no injuries and no weapons. Upon entering the apartment, the officers were met by that female caller and her son. After a brief conversation, the officers were informed that her other son, whom she was disputing with, was in the back bedroom."
This bedroom, Essig explained, was about 30 feet down a hallway from the living room where the officers had encountered the mother and the first son.
"This hallway is very tight and narrow," said Essig. "As our first officers approached the bedroom, the door swings open and numerous shots are fired, striking both officers, one fatally, and one is here at Harlem Hospital in critical condition."
The shooter, as Essig explained, had a criminal history.
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