The New York State Senate today passed a bill honoring heroic NYPD Detective Steven McDonald, who died in January after a long battle with complications from being shot in the line of duty. The measure would name a section of the Southern State Parkway on Long Island the “Detective Steven McDonald Memorial Highway” in recognition of his meritorious service and brave life.
The bill (S6549) is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and the entire Long Island Senate delegation, including Senators Elaine Phillips, Kemp Hannon, Carl L. Marcellino, Phil Boyle, Kenneth LaValle, and Thomas Croci, and former New York City police officer Senator Martin Golden. It ceremonially names the section of the Southern State Parkway that runs from the Belt to the Meadowbrook as the “Detective Steven McDonald Memorial Highway” and directs the state Department of Transportation to erect signage specifying the designation.
Senator Flanagan said, “This is a fitting tribute to a true hero and community servant who showed us all what it means to be an exemplary human being. With the memorial highway designation, residents and visitors to our region would forever be reminded of Detective McDonald’s sacrifices, his lessons of forgiveness, and the strength of his family and community in supporting him.”
The highway naming celebrates Detective McDonald’s many years of community service as a Navy veteran, police officer, and an inspiration to all New Yorkers. While on duty in 1986, he was shot three times by a 15-year-old assailant, paralyzing Detective McDonald from the neck down. A long recovery followed, but in 1987 as he was still struggling, he made a statement about his assailant through his wife that defined the rest of his life: “I forgive him and hope he can find peace and purpose in his life.” With the help of his loving family, he continued to bring that message of forgiveness to leaders across the world for three decades until passing away on January 10, 2017. Thousands of mourners gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for his funeral to celebrate his achievements and legacy.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly.