NYPD’s Women At Ground Zero

Published on September 11, 2021, 5:09 pm
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Police Commissioner Dermot Shea today announced that the NYPD has launched distribution of a new film commemorating for the first time the range of contributions made by the women of the NYPD on September 11 and in the two decades since.

The documentary-style film, “NYPD’s Women at Ground Zero,” features the stories of women officers and civilians who selflessly served during and after the large-scale terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan. It recounts the experience of Moira Smith, who was the only city policewoman to die on September 11. It is anchored by interviews with women officers who survived to reflect on their shared history from some of the highest levels in the department, including Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin, Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster, and Assistant Chief Martine Materasso, the Counterterrorism Bureau commander.

“Our training is to run toward whatever is a safety issue for others,” said Chief Royster in the film. “And once you get there, make sure you mitigate the circumstances. That is the NYPD. And that is what we do.” says Chief Tobin, a Medal of Valor recipient. “We have to remember that 9/11 was the worst terrorist attack on American soil but also keep in mind that it was the greatest rescue effort ever.”

The film features interviews with ten current and retired women employees of the NYPD, including detectives, a lieutenant, a communications technician, and a traffic enforcement agent – all among the thousands of NYPD members who were called to duty that day. It utilizes radio transmissions, news footage and photos from September 11, as well as images of original NYPD archival material.

The film highlights the ultimate sacrifices that continue to this day, with 35 women NYPD members among the hundreds who have so far died of World Trade Center related illnesses since September 11, 2001, and nearly 270 more women now sick and suffering. Yet the film reflects the collective hope their enduring valor inspires and the way their humanity is alive in the hearts of NYPD members at work today.

“NYPD’s Women at Ground Zero,” was conceived and produced by the office of Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Communications Richard Esposito. The 12-minute film was produced by Detective John Giretti and is narrated by Public Information Specialist Jill Bauerle. It is dedicated to all of those who responded to the terrorist attack and its aftermath.

The film’s initial publication is on the NYPD’s YouTube channel, which viewers can link to through the department’s social media channels on Twitter and Facebook. It is also available internally to all NYPD employees.

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