The event that served as the catalyst for the annual Police Week observances took place this Tuesday in Binghamton.
The speaker at this year’s Memorial Breakfast was Assistant New York Attorney General in Charge Jim Shoemaker.
Shoemaker recounted his short time as a Binghamton Police Officer, joining the force in 1978.
The following year, his wife Bridget became the first female officer in the department.
Shoemaker also spoke of his career as an attorney and prosecutor, working for the Broome District Attorney’s Office and now the AG’s office for 27 years. “It’s quite an honor for me to be able to speak and honor the fallen officers, have breakfast with and engage with people, some of whom I’ve known for 30 or 40 years.”
Shoemaker also spoke directly to the dozens of recruits in attendance from the Broome County Law Enforcement Academy.
He praised improvements in training, warned them about the dangers of high-speed chases and told them to expect to make lifelong friendships among their fellow officers.
Nicholas Smith grew up in Endwell, is a Binghamton Police recruit and was selected Platoon Leader for his class.
He says they all look forward to serving their communities. “To me, and I believe I can say this for my entire class, it’s something that we believe is a calling for us. It’s something that we’ve all, since we were young, had a strong passion for.”
The Southern Tier Law Enforcement Memorial Association grew out of the first Police Memorial Breakfast held in 1982.
The organization awarded scholarships to two students at BU and SUNY Broome.
And it honored local radio personality Stephen “Shimes” Shimer for his work on the annual Police Memorial Hockey Game, and Kathi Bailey for her work in researching the lives of fallen officers and caring for their graves and memorials.