NEW YORK — As thousands mourned slain NYPD Detective Randolph Holder, they learned on Wednesday why he wanted to become a police officer.
Holder, 33, was a five-year veteran of the NYPD. Originally from Guyana, Holder wanted to make a difference in his community. His father and grandfather were both police officers in the South American nation.
During the funeral, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton touched upon why people become police officers. Bratton said every new recruit must answer the question, "why did you become a police officer," in a typed essay. He then read Holder's response from 2010.
My name is Randolph Holder, born March 19, 1982 in Georgetown, Guyana. Growing up, all I wanted to do was to make a difference in my community and become a role model. In November of 2002 I migrated to the United States of America to live with Father.
My first real job was working as a security officer. Most of the managers were retired NYPD officers, and they always talked a lot about how they changed their communities.
That’s when I decided I could be a role model and make a difference in my community and in New York City.
In December, 2010, I will graduate from the NYPD Academy to become a police officer in the greatest police Department in the world.
For your information.
Probationary Police Officer
After reading his essay, Bratton remarked that Holder was "indeed a role model."
Bratton announced that he was posthumously promoting Holder to detective and issuing him a new gold shield with No. 9657 — the same number of the badge worn by his father, Randolph Sr. in Guyana.
"If we want to remember him, and to honor him, coming together to finish his work is the way," said Bratton. "It's what we do. It's what we all, community and police, need to do. It's our shared responsibility."
Holder and his partner Officer Omar Wallace responded to a call of shots fired near East 102nd Street and First Avenue in East Harlem on Oct. 20. When they arrived on the scene, they were told by a man that his bike was stolen at gunpoint.
The two police officers encountered a man on a bicycle nearly 20 blocks away when gunfire was exchanged. Holder, who was shot in the head, was rushed to the hospital where he died hours later.
Police arrested Tyrone Howard, 30, and charged him with two first degree felonies including robbery and murder.
Howard, who Mayor Bill de Blasio described as a "hardened criminal" who "should not have been on the streets," has a rap sheet of at least 23 arrests. He had been on the run from police for weeks in connection with a gang-related shooting.
Holder and Wallace "went toward that danger. They didn't pull back," Bratton said during his remarks at the funeral because that's what police do. "In Guyana or Harlem. It's what we do."
His remains will be flown back to Guyana where he will be buried later this week.