Read my story published at The Hunts Point Express.
“A 41st Precinct police officer who died of brain cancer after helping clean up the toxic destruction in Lower Manhattan following the 9/11 attacks, was memorialized by his family, fellow cops and former commanding officer at a June 17 ceremony at the station house on Longwood Avenue.
A part of Longwood Avenue between Bruckner Blvd and Southern Blvd. was renamed for the late Lieutenant M. Christopher Pupo, who died on June 23, 2012 at the age of 39, after battling cancer contracted while cleaning up the rubble from the Twin Towers. Puno was survived by his wife Kristen, daughters Mackenzie, Kacey, and Devy, and his father Al, who attended the memorial, along with members of the NYPD.
“When his body began to fail him, he did not use that as an excuse,” recalled Deputy Inspector Philip Rivera, who was Pupa’s boss at the 41st Precinct in 2012.
“Despite his pain and suffering, he came to work to ensure that his responsibilities were taken care of, and to assure that his cops knew he had their back,” said Rivera.
Pupa’s NYPD career began in 1998 in the 52nd Precinct’s anti-crime unit in Norwood. In 2004 he was transferred to the 26th Precinct in Harlem, then promoted to sergeant before being assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau. He was also an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard reserves for nearly a decade, then honored as Reserve Petty Officer of the Year in 2009 and promoted to Chief Petty Officer.
“Chris was a man who obviously dedicated his life to the service of others, and it is fitting and appropriate that a plaque is placed on the walls of this station house in his honor, alongside the other heroes that have served before him,” said NYPD’s Bronx Borough assistant chief Larry Nikunen.”