President Barack Obama shakes hands with NYPD Sgt. Stephanie Moses following a moment of silence after he placed a wreath at the World Trade Center site in New York.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
An NYPD sergeant who was the "face of the NYPD on the national stage" has apparently committed suicide in her Baldwin home, officials said Tuesday.
Stephanie Moses, 40, a member of the NYPD's ceremonial unit and an 18-year veteran, was much photographed as she represented the force at public events and stood with high-profile leaders, including President Barack Obama last year at a Ground Zero ceremony.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said she "epitomized professionalism."
"She appears to have taken her own life," Kelly told reporters. "We are trying to get to the bottom of it. Everybody is disturbed by what happened."
A Nassau police spokeswoman said a call came in at 11:20 a.m. about a suicide in a Baldwin home, but she declined to give details, citing department policy on privacy in suicides. Records show Moses lived on the street where the suicide occurred.
Relatives could not be reached for comment.
Moses was at the right side of Obama during a Ground Zero ceremony in May 2011, days after he announced Osama bin Laden's death in a U.S. raid. In 2007, after two auxiliary officers were killed in a Greenwich Village shooting rampage, Moses wore a $500 bullet-resistant vest to help Mayor Michael Bloomberg announce the $3.3 million rollout of vests to volunteer officers.
The daughter of a retired NYPD detective, Moses was born in Jamaica, Queens, and sworn in to the force Feb. 25, 1994, after graduating from a two-year program run by the NYPD and the City University of New York. The Cadet Corps recruited college-educated officers who reflected the ethnic populations they would serve.
Early in her career, she worked with domestic violence victims at the 113th Precinct in South Jamaica.
In a 1994 Newsday profile, Moses said, "My goal is to go as high in the department as I can . . . I enjoy helping people, listening to their problems and helping to solve them. I'm a people person and get along with people of all ethnicities and backgrounds because that's how I was brought up."
In a statement, Kelly sent his condolences to Moses' family and friends, saying she was "on so many occasions, the face of the NYPD on the national stage as well as routinely at police ceremonies. She epitomized professionalism in her appearance, conduct and dedication to duty."
Copyright 2012 - Newsday
McClatchy-Tribune News Service