Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, the town board and New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O’Neil conducted a ceremonial street renaming dedication in honor of fallen NYPD Police Officer Michael Russell, who died in the line of duty on Aug. 2, 1979, while attempting to arrest an armed assailant who had shot and killed a civilian.
“Officer Russell was loved and respected by residents of New York City as well as the community where he grew up,” said Supervisor Saladino. “To those who had the pleasure to know Michael, it was no surprise that he was able to leave such an indelible mark, both socially and professionally. Officer Russell was a top cop in the bravest sense and did not hesitate to take action, even if the situation was perilous. He put the safety of New York City’s residents ahead of his own.”
The ceremony marked the 40th anniversary of when Russell was murdered. It included a street sign unveiling at the corner of North Utica Avenue and North Broadway in North Massapequa. The sign, which now reads “NYPD Police Officer Michael Russell Way,” is situated near the North Utica Avenue home where Russell and his family resided. Russell made countless friends, was a devoted husband and father who loved the NYPD and enjoyed playing sports. He was an unbelievably energetic person with a heart as big as the State of New York. During his seven-year tenure with the NYPD, Russell earned the respect of his colleagues with his dedication, caring and attention to detail.
“Police Officer Russell is a ‘True American Hero’ and the Town of Oyster Bay will never forget his service and sacrifice for our residents,” said Saladino. “He paid the ultimate price serving his fellow citizens. This street, in the community where he lived for many years, will serve as a reminder to all residents of his sacrifice and his extraordinary life.”