A rookie NYPD officer who was shot to death while on duty last Friday night wrote in a letter before joining the force that he wanted to “better the relationship between the community and the police.”
The letter, written by the late Officer Jason Rivera to the commanding officer of the police academy in 2020, and obtained by the New York Post, reads, “When I applied to become a police officer, I knew this was the career for me. Coming from an immigrant family, I will be the first to say that I am a member of the NYPD, the greatest police force in the world,” Rivera wrote.
He wrote of his experiences watching the way his community interacted with law enforcement, and “realized that [he] wanted to be a part of the men in blue: [to] better the relationship between the community and the police.” He continued, “Something as small as helping a tourist with directions, or helping a couple resolve an issue will put a smile on someone’s face.”
Rivera was killed while responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem, when a man opened the apartment door to the officers and opened fire, killing Rivera and wounding another officer. The suspect was also wounded during the gunfire exchange, and was in critical condition at Harlem Hospital on Saturday.