BRONX — The current and former heads of the New York Police Department have joined members of the rank and file and neighborhood residents at a church for a wake honoring the life and memory of a police officer slain while on the job.
The line outside World Changers Church in the Bronx extended several blocks Monday as people waited to pay their respects to Officer Miosotis Familia. She was shot and killed while sitting inside her police vehicle last week.
Tributes to the fallen officer, who dedicated 12 years of her life to the force, could be seen in nearly every corner. Blue ribbons even lined the streets in the section of the Bronx where she worked, patrolled and eventually lost her life.
Familia, 48, was "a true asset to this department, to this city, a beautiful person inside and out, a loving mother, loving to her co-workers, always had a smile and a few kind words for everybody," said her commanding officer, Inspector Philip Rivera.
Dolores San Giorgio, Familia's cousin, traveled over a thousand miles to join mourners at the wake.
"I'm really going to miss her," San Giorgio said. "She was a great cousin, a great daughter. It's just so sad."
Fellow officers from Illinois, Colorado and even the Dominican Republic attended the wake.
Julio Rodriguez came from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to pay his respects, joined by Jose Luis Monche, who came from Miami. The two said they grew up with Familia and her siblings in the Washington Heights section of upper Manhattan. They remembered her energy and joy.
"She had that timeless, infectious smile," Monche said.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill paid his respects. So did former Commissioner William Bratton. Mayor Bill de Blasio visited with the officer's family at her Bronx home where she leaves behind a 20 year old daughter and 12 year old twins.
The man who ambushed and killed her had sought psychiatric care just days earlier. He was shot dead by police soon after the attack.
Familia's funeral will be held Tuesday at the World Changers Church in the Bronx. Services will begin at 10 a.m.