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Three Syracuse Police Department members receive Officer of the Year award

TOBACCO AND MENTHOL. CHRISTIE: A VERY SELECT HONOR DELIVERED TODAY TO THREE MEMBERS OF THE SYRACUSE POLICE DEPARTMENT. ROD: LIEUTENANT JAMES MILANA, OFFICER VICTORIA LOSURDO AND OFFICER TRAVIS RHEINHEIMER WERE NAMED NEW YORK STATE OFFICER OF THE YEAR. CHRISTIE: NEWSCHANNEL NINE’S JEFF KULIKOWSKY JOINS US IN THE STUDIO TONIGHT WITH MORE. JEFF — THEY’RE NOW PART OF SOME PRETTY SELECT COMPANY… JEFF: SINCE THE AWARD’S INCEPTION IN 1984….THE SELECTION COMMITTEE HAS CHOSEN 120 OFFICERS FROM 19 AGENCIES FOR THE HONOR.THE THREE FROM S-P-D HAD A HARROWING SITUATION WITH A MAN SHOOTING A GUN AT THEM. Lt. James Milana, Syracuse Police Department, ” You fall back on your training in that moment of high stress and rapidly evolving situations.” JEFF: LT. JAMES MILANA SPEAKING FOR THE THREE, RECALLING THAT DAY BACK IN FEBRUARY OF 2018….WHEN THEY RESPONDED TO SOUTH SALINA STREET NEAR WEST CALTHROP AVENUE FOR A REPORT OF A MAN WITH A GUN. OFFICER LOSURDO SAW LEON THOMAS REACH FOR SOMETHING IN HIS WAISTBAND AND ORDERED HIM TO STOP AND SHOW HIS HANDS.THOMAS, REFUSED AND BEGAN SHOOTING AT LIEUTENANT MILANA’S VEHICLE, HITTING HIS HOOD AND DASHBOARD. Lt. Jame Milana, Syracuse Police Department, ” I didn’t really realize or process it at the time, after the fact I kind of took that all in. Everything just happens so quickly that you just react.” Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State, ” The question to engage with an individual who has a loaded semi-automatic and is firing at you normal human beings would probably take a few steps back and go in the other direction.” JEFF: THE OFFICERS RETURNED FIRE — HITTING THOMAS AT LEAST ONCE — BEFORE HE WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State, ” And we talked about this kind of valor many times at ceremonies this past week to commemorate the 18th anniversary of 9/11, that same sense of selflessness of thinking about protecting other human beings at their own risk.” Lt. Jame Milana, Syracuse Police Department, ” I think things like this happen more frequently than the public knows in law enforcement, unfortunately.There’s definitely a lot of other officers out there very deserving of this type of award.” JEFF: SYRACUSE POLICE OFFICER KELSEY FRANCEMONE WAS S-P-D’S FIRST RECIPIENT OF THE AWARD.OFFICER FRANCEMONE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO BE HONORED AS THE SOLE RECIPIENT OF THE HONOR WHEN SHE RECEIVED THE 2016 POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR HER BRAVERY DURING THE FATHER’S DAY MELEE ON THE CITY’S NEAR WESTSIDE THAT YEAR. ROD: JEFF, THANKS. LEON THOMAS, THE GUNMAN IN THAT INCIDENT ON SOUTH SALINA STREET, PLEADED GUILTY TO ATTEMPTED MURDER EARLIER THIS YEAR AND IS SERVING A 23-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE. CHRISTIE: INVESTIGATORS NOW TRYING TO

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