Two 120 Precinct police officers who were recognized at a Cop of the Month ceremony have deep family roots within the NYPD. Police Officers Craig Spataro and Robert Martino were honored for arresting an armed perpetrator in West Brighton. But their dedication to fighting crime is not their only commonality. As legacy members of the NYPD, both officers are carrying on a family tradition through their service.
Officer Spataro is working diligently to become the fourth member of his family to achieve the rank of sergeant. He one day hopes to carry the same shield his deceased grandfather, father, and brother once wore.
“Stephen, myself and my father had sergeant’s shield No. 324 and Craig is going to be a sergeant,” Mr. Spataro Sr. said.
“He’s on the sergeant’s list, and we’re going to try and get the same shield number for him, so three generations, four people would wear the same shield.”
Officer Martino followed in his father’s footsteps when he joined the NYPD. His father, a retired detective, had a successful career and set an exceptional example both in and out of uniform. Officer Martino’s father spoke about what it means to him that his son also followed this calling:
“It’s a great honor and privilege that my son has chosen this profession. It’s a sign of respect to me and I’m with him 110 percent. We talk about the job. I still live the job even though I’m retired.” said retired Detective Martino.
The Cop of Month tributes for Officers Spataro and Martino stemmed from an incident where they responded as backup to a dispute involving a firearm. When the officers arrived at the scene, they began searching for the suspect who had threatened to shoot someone. While canvassing the neighborhood, Officers Martino and Spataro saw the perpetrator and chased him down to the stairwell of an apartment complex. After pushing and shoving the officers, the suspect reached into his waistband and tossed a black firearm on the ground. Officer Spataro picked up the loaded weapon and arrested the perpetrator.