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Fallen Officer Thomas Lindsey honored with stretch of roadway

By Gary Libratore

(WKTV) - Oriskany Street West, also known as State Route 5S in Utica, now has a new sign at each end of it that reads 'Officer Thomas M. Lindsey Memorial Highway.'

The unveiling of the signs Friday morning was attended by a huge crowd that included numerous Utica police officers as well as officers from other area law enforcement agencies, community members and local elected officials.

Utica Police Chief Mark Williams was among the long line of speakers.  He says Tom Lindsey was was just a nice person who would help anyone he could.

"In life, Tom was the type of person who would not want to be the center of attention, but I'm sure he's looking down proud, knowing that as they're rededicating this roadway," said Williams. "It is going to serve as a constant reminder of his dedication and service to this community."

Lindsey was gunned down during a traffic stop on Neilson Street in Utica on April 12, 2007, at 9:20 p.m.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says he is glad thousands of people each day will pass by the new signs and think of the sacrifice Tom gave that day more than six years ago.

"Tom was an outstanding citizen, outstanding law enforcement officer with the Utica Police Department and more importantly, his memory will be cherished for the rest of our lives," he said.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente spoke fondly of Lindsey as well.

"We remember him everyday.  I know his brothers in law enforcement do that everyday as they walk into that station, as they do in New Hartford for Officer Joe Corr and at the Sheriff's Deptartment for Deputy Kurt Wyman," Picente said. "So today, we honor a fallen officer. We honor his memory, and we also honor the men and women who put the uniform on and protect this great community each and every day."

Utica Police Lt. Don Cinque is the chairman of the Thomas M. Lindsey Foundation, which was created several years ago to raise money to help chldren in need in Utica.

Cinque says helping the kids in Cornhill was something Tom Lindsey did as much as he could, "He coached baseball, and other things like that and we do 'Shop With a Cop' every year, it's one of the bigger events of the Thomas Lindsey Foundation, so it works out really well."

Money raised for the annual 'Shop with a Cop' program is raised through two big annual fundraisers in Lindsey's name, The Brothers Forever Motorcycle Ride and the Thomas Lindsey Memorial Golf Tournament.

Senator Joe Griffo of Rome and Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica introduced legislation to dedicate the Utcia roadway in Lindsey's honor.

Griffo said on Friday, "It's a great tribute today because many people who will pass by will not have known Tom and now they'll have an opportunity, hopefully, to peek their curiousity as they come down this road, so they can learn a lot more about an individual who gave his life to this community and the people he served and cared about, the citizens of Utica."

Before joining the Utica Police force in 2001, Lindsey served our country for six years in the Marine Corps.

Lindsey died at the age of 32.

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