Katrina Narvaez, whose father was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1996, joined a class of 830 NYPD...
Katrina Narvaez, whose father was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1996, joined a class of 830 NYPD recruits this week.
Photo credit: New York Police Department
She remembers every story about her slain cop dad, each tale of sacrifice and support.
They’re what make her want to wear the badge.
“I was 9 when he died,” Katrina Narvaez says, the childhood memory seared in her soul.
Narvaez, now 25, says “died,” as if her dad, an NYPD lieutenant, had a heart attack. But Federico Narvaez was murdered.
He was shot in the face, killed in the line of duty 16 years ago while helping a woman in Brooklyn who was being harassed by a menacing stalker.
“I don’t remember seeing him as a police officer,” says Narvaez, who was introduced yesterday with a new class of academy recruits.
“He was just my dad. It’s more about the stories that they told about him, how he would support them. I just wanted to be like him. They always told stories. That one time or two he helped them or backed them up.”
Like the time a couple of officers stopped a suspect, and the lieutenant had to set them straight.
Narvaez’s father pulled the officers aside and asked them if they had remembered to search the suspect. They hadn’t. It turned out he had a gun. He may have saved all their lives that day.
“I just hear so many stories, because I know a lot of cops,” Narvaez says.
“So I just hear so many nice things. It seems like the good times outweigh the bad, and I am really looking forward to that. I’m just looking forward to being a part of something.”
But first, she had to win her mother over.
“Basically, she was very worried,” Narvaez says. “Once I told her it was what I want, she got on board.”
Narvaez’s father was gunned down on East 17th Street by Harvey Richardson, 61, a career criminal, after a woman flagged down the cop’s car begging for help.
Minutes later, the gunman was killed in a wild shootout with police in the lobby of an apartment building a block away.
“I can’t tell you how much I admire your bravery and your willingness to serve,” Mayor Bloomberg told her at the ceremony.
“As the father of two daughters, I can tell you I know your father is looking down right now and he’s so proud of you.”
Narvaez says she feels her father’s presence and cherishes her fondest memory of him.
“We went to Coney Island one day and just spent the whole day at the aquarium and we went on the Cyclone,” she recalls.
“It was my first roller coaster.I had never been on one and he bought me a little stuffed dolphin and it fell off the roller coaster. But he was so nice. He went back and got me a new one. I still have it.”
Narvaez says she would like to wear the badge number her father, a 16-year veteran, wore before he became a lieutenant. In the meantime, she has the stories to keep him close to her heart.
“Every year, we go to the [70th] Precinct on the anniversary of his death,” Narvaez says, “They have a ceremony at the precinct, usually during roll call. They review what happened. They tell the story about how he went, how he was shot.
“They have a priest, Father Perry. He always says a prayer. It’s really nice to know that he wasn’t forgotten. It’s not just like he gave his life and that was it.”
Republished with permission of The New York Post.