2011-02-24 / Front Page

Carmel Stops to Honor Slain Hero Cop

Archibishop Dolan Leads Funeral Mass
ERIC GROSS

Pallbearers remove the flag draped coffin from the hearse. Photo by Eric Gross.Pallbearers remove the flag draped coffin from the hearse. Photo by Eric Gross.The hearse containing the remains of Officer John Falcone is accompanied by eight fellow police officers and a rider-less horse. Photo by Eric Gross.The hearse containing the remains of Officer John Falcone is accompanied by eight fellow police officers and a rider-less horse. Photo by Eric Gross.Downtown Carmel resembled a sea of blue Thursday when 10,000 police officers from across the U.S. converged on the Putnam County seat to pay their respects to the family of a Poughkeepsie police officer shot and killed by a crazed gunman who also murdered his wife before taking his own life.

Officer John Falcone, 44, a 1985 graduate of Carmel High School, was called a “cop’s cop” by James O’Neill, President of the Putnam Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

NYPD Sergeant Michael Hengel of Kent remembered serving with Falcone in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department Cadet Corps. “John was the nicest and most unassuming person you would ever want to meet,” Hengel said. “His loss will be felt for years in Carmel—the community where he grew up—as well as in Poughkeepsie, where he served for 18 years and was truly admired.”

Dutchess County Sheriff Butch Anderson said Falcone’s “senseless and untimely death was a real tragedy. We will always remember John Falcone for the man he was and for his heroism that saved a child’s life.” Falcone rescued the young daughter of the late gunman and his murdered wife before being shot and killed.

Inside St. James Church, Archbishop Timothy Dolan presided over the funeral mass. He told the parents of the slain officer—Margaret and John Falcone—that “Pope Paul VI once thanked his mother for giving her son to the church. I say thanks for giving John to the community.”

 

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