Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

Hard to believe it's been 21 years (217)

I was about four years into my WVBR radio career, and had a pretty good idea of what the radio station could do, when Ithaca Police Department investigator Michael Padula died in the line of duty. It was also a year after I'd helped Mayor Alan Cohen get elected, and once the funeral had been scheduled, I immediately reached out to him to see if there was a way we could help broadcast it to those who couldn't attend.

We used to do a lot of remote broadcasts, and I was involved with quite a few, but I think this was the most important. Mayor Cohen and (acting?) Chief Barnes helped make the arrangements, and I set up outside St. Catherine of Siena with the equipment to broadcast the funeral on the radio. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and other emergency responders from all over the state and beyond were there, as was Governor George Pataki.

I was able to make it to the ceremony when the Badge of Honor Association came to dedicate a memorial to Investigator Padula at the site of his death, three years ago, but couldn't be at today's wreath laying ceremony at Ithaca's Calvary Cemetery.

A sad footnote to the story is that Inv. Padula's son Michael just died of cancer this summer.

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