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NEWS | May 8, 2017

NYPD officer, Army Reserve Soldier to be honored in National Police Memorial

By Sgt. Audrey Hayes 200th Military Police Command

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first New York City police officer killed in Iraq while serving as an Army Reserve Soldier will be honored in the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial this year in Washington, D.C., during National Police Week.

Staff Sgt. James D. McNaughton’s name will be officially dedicated along with other police officers who died in the line of duty during the 29th Annual Candlelight Vigil, May 13, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

This year, the Candlelight Vigil will be held on the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets. In addition to the lighting of the candles and reading of names, the Candlelight Vigil includes remarks by dignitaries and musical tributes preformed to honor the memory of these fallen officers.

McNaughton graduated from the police academy shortly after 9/11 and volunteered to go to Iraq in 2005. While there, he volunteered for a dangerous mission, which would cost him his life.

“We gathered all the civilian police officers in the unit and told them what the situation was. They were to train Iraqi police,” said Brig. Gen. John Hussey, who was at the time McNaughton’s battalion commander and now commander of the 1st Brigade, Great Lakes Division, 75th Training Command, in Arlington Heights, Ill. “Jimmy McNaughton stepped forward. He stepped up because he knew a lot of these guys were married and had kids, and he didn’t want them to be put in harm’s way.”

Having been denied once, Hussey made it a personal mission to have McNaughton’s name included in the police memorial wall in Washington.

“I was trying to mount a campaign and went to several elected officials and asked them to get involved,” he said. “Instead of submitting through the New York City Police Department like we did the first time, we submitted the application for Jimmy’s dedication to the National Law Enforcement Memorial through the Army.”

The application was approved without any pushback.

This weekend, Hussey and McNaughton’s parents will meet in Washington to see the unveiling of his name and light candles for those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.

Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Owens, the senior enlisted leader for the 200th Military Police Command, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, is also expected to attend the ceremony to represent McNaughton’s service as a military police Soldier.