Hawthorne, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham and Westchester County Executive George Latimer honored Westchester County Police Captain James Luciano and Sergeant Jeff Slotoroff for their lifesaving heroics last April during a short ceremony yesterday here at Westchester County Police Headquarters.
The two County Police officers were able to rescue a woman after her car exited the roadway and slid into Woodlands Lake in V.E. Macy Park near Irvington.
“Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the heroic acts our public safety and law enforcement professionals perform in the course of their service to our communities,” said Harckham. “When Sergeant Slotoroff and Captain Luciano dove into the water, their thoughts were only focused on rescuing an unconscious woman, and not on their own safety—a testament to their training, courage and selflessness.”
After introductory remarks from Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Gleason, both Harckham and Latimer presented proclamations to the two police officers in appreciation of their heroism.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “We are proud to recognize Sergeant Slotoroff and Captain Luciano for their heroic actions. In a moment when many would think about the harm to themselves, they did not hesitate to enter the frigid water and rescue the woman in the vehicle.”
On the morning of April 14, both officers responded to a call of occupied vehicle that had been driven into a lake. Sergeant Slotoroff arrived to find a car that was mostly submerged in the center of the lake.
Without a personal flotation device, Slotoroff immediately entered the dangerously cold water and swam 60 yards to the vehicle, where he found an unresponsive woman up to her neck in water stuck in the driver’s seat. Under difficult conditions, the sergeant removed the woman from the vehicle and began to swim with her back to shore.
Captain Luciano, arriving on the scene a few moments later, attached himself to a rope and began to swim out to the vehicle. He reached Slotoroff and took control of the woman and brought her back to shore. Despite showing signs of hypothermia both officers continued their efforts at the accident scene to make sure there were no additional occupants of the vehicle.