Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer recently joined Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Receiver of Taxes Corinne DiSomma, New York State Senator Phil Boyle, New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, and Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey to rededicate the Anthony Sanchez Memorial Park in honor of the New York City police officer who was killed in the line of duty 19 years ago. The rededication ceremony for Sanchez, a West Babylon resident, was held on the 19th Anniversary of his killing on May 19th, 1997. That same year, Supervisor Schaffer renamed the park and pool facility on Sawyer Avenue in West Babylon “PO Anthony Sanchez Memorial Park & Pool.”
Sanchez was considered a standout officer at the 13th Precinct, where he worked for 10 years with partner Detective Roy Ruland. He was awarded 15 medals throughout his career.
Many upgrades to the park have occurred throughout the years, including a new playground surface and a landscape enhancement project at the front of the pool building. The refurbished sign commemorating Officer Sanchez was moved to street level and is housed in a natural stone wall area surrounded by beautiful perennials, shrubs, and colorful annuals. Each year, under the direction of West Babylon Fire Department firefighter Kamilla Fabian-Turner, the West Babylon junior firefighters clean up and plant flowers under the sign in honor of their friend and neighbor.
Elizabeth Sanchez—Anthony’s wife—attended the ceremony with other family members and delivered heartfelt remarks about Anthony’s life. Patrick Lynch, head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, also addressed those gathered in Anthony’s honor.
Pictured with members of the West Babylon junior firefighters (from left to right) are Patrick Lynch, Assemblyman Saladino, Receiver of Taxes DiSomma, Deputy Supervisor Martinez, Senator Boyle, Manhattan District Attorney & Prosecutor Kerry O’Connell, West Babylon Fire Department Chief Christine Manzi, Elizabeth Sanchez, Detective Ruland, President of the Gramercy Park Block Association Arlene Harrison, NYPD Chief James Murtagh, Kamilla Fabian-Turner, West Babylon Fire Department 1st Assistant Chief Eric Schumann, Supervisor Schaffer, and Legislator McCaffrey.