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Police Officer Robert E. Machate | New York City Police Department, New York New York City Police Department, New York

Police Officer

Robert E. Machate

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch: Friday, March 3, 1989

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: 2 years, 6 months

Badge # 25539

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Not available

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Officer Robert Machate was shot and killed while checking on an automobile.

Officer Machate and his partner stopped a vehicle that was occupied by two suspicious males. While they were questioning the males, one of the suspects was able to gain control of Officer Machate’s service weapon during a fierce struggle, and shot him. The suspect fled but was later apprehended and charged with murder. He was acquitted of murder, but convicted of Criminal Possession of a Weapon and Escape.

Officer Machate had served with the New York City Police Department for 2 ½ years and was survived by his wife, who was six months pregnant at the time of this incident. Officer Machate was assigned to the Brooklyn South Task Force Anti-Crime Unit.

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I’m on patrol today, the day before Memorial Day, so many years later, and I am thinking of Rob. He normally jumps to the front of my mind at the oddest times, during the strangest of circumstances. I speak of Rob when discussing bravery and selflessness with new officers.
I will never forget our first meeting. His first midnight tour on the Rock, this big new guy with an even bigger smile, was assigned as my B man in my steady housing area. At 2:00 am, looking out for the new guy, I told him to stay in the A station while I went into the dormitory bath room to get a few inmates to return to their beds. Not the safest thing to do, as one could easily get hurt, but was anything really safe at Rikers during those wild crack years? After I confronted the inmates, I turned and realized he had followed me in the housing area and was standing right next to me the whole time. Having his brother officer’s back was a natural for him, he didn’t have to be taught, it was in his DNA. Rob was a real standup guy in the old school way, a C.O. with heart, and a cop’s cop.
I’ll never forget all the good times we had. Or how kind he and his family were. He invited me to their Christmas dinner when I was going through some tough times. I’ll never forget how he loved and worshiped Grace with all his heart and soul. Or how he was looking forward to the birth of his daughter.
Rob will never be forgotten by anyone he touched in his way too short life. His legacy lives on in every brave brother and sister officer, putting their lives on the line every day to protect complete strangers. It would have been so good to have Rob at my wedding, but it wasn’t to be, God had bigger plans for him. So rest in peace my brother, until we meet again…

May 28, 2017


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