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In observance of National Police Week, the New Rochelle Police Department and the New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association held a secondary street naming ceremony of Nardozzi Place for fallen officer Allen B. McLeod on Thursday, May 17. Former New Rochelle Police Officer McLeod, was shot and killed in the line of duty on February 14, 1977. The ceremony was attended by members of the Police Department, Commissioner Joseph Schaller and Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola, Mayor Noam Bramson, City Manager Chuck Strome, City officials, and the McLeod family and friends.
In his remarks, Mayor Bramson said, “Today, we recognized the self-sacrifice and bravery of Officer Allen McLeod and acknowledged the invaluable contributions of all of New Rochelle’s men and women in blue. The New Rochelle PBA deserves great thanks for bringing us together, and all of us were honored by the presence of the McLeod family."
City Manager Chuck Strome noted the important role of the New Rochelle Police Department, highlighted during Police Week. “This event- and now this sign- reminds us of the value of each and every member of the department, every day of the year.”
PBA President Det. Chris Greco, who presided over the ceremony, noted that McLeod was one of eight fallen officers memorialized by the department, with their names on a tablet on the Memorial Wall inside police headquarters and in a monument garden outside. They are also remembered annually during the memorial ceremony as part of National Police Week. The memorial tablet, established by the Police Association in 1931, originally included the names of three officers killed in the line of duty between 1899-1931, with the purpose of paying tribute to the memory of the fellow officers and serving as inspiration to the living members of the department. “Today we continue the tradition established 81 years ago and honor officer Allen B. McLeod with a secondary street naming, to serve as a reminder of all those passing through of his sacrifice made on February 14, 1977.” This is the 100th anniversary of the New Rochelle PBA.
Commissioner Joseph Schaller offered a personal reflection of Officer McLeod, recalling that he was the last remaining member of the Department to have worked with him- as a rookie cop, with McLeod a senior officer and seasoned veteran. “Allen was a real cop, a cop’s cop. He knew what he was doing, other cops knew that he knew what he was doing, and knew they could depend on him.” Schaller then recounted McLeod’s actions on that tragic day- driving directly into the parking lot, exiting his radio car and running towards building to confront the gunman, only to be shot and killed. Three other officers were also wounded in their radio cars as they approached the scene. “He knew the risk, but his sense of duty overruled it. He knew there were people inside that building being killed, and it was his job, regardless of the danger to himself, to stop it. That was him, and, I can think no officer in the history of this Department more deserving of the honor he is receiving here today,” Schaller concluded.
Office Allen B. McLeod
October 5, 1970-February 14, 1977
Police Office Allen B. McLeod was appointed to the Department on October 5, 1970. He was the first one on the scene and the only officer to lay down his life in the February 14, 1977 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre at the Neptune World Moving Company. He was one of five people slain by a disgruntled ex-employee who invaded the company’s Weyman Avenue warehouse in a Nazi storm trooper’s uniform and opened fire with a high-powered rifle. Three other officers and two civilians were wounded. The tragedy has remained as one of the darkest days in New Rochelle history. Officer McLeod, a six year veteran, had responded to a report of a gunman holding hostages. The 33-year-old office was shot seconds after leaving his patrol car.
Four thousand police officers, from as far away as Georgia lined Boston Post Road in Larchmont for the procession from Fox Funeral Home to the United Methodist Church in White Plains. As the police honors drew to a close, Office McLeod was buried with a 21-gun salute at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye.