Police Officer Joseph Galapo

Police Officer Joseph Galapo

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Tuesday, August 16, 1988

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Joseph Galapo

Police Officer Joe Galapo was accidentally shot and killed by his partner as the two officers attempted to arrest two narcotics suspects on Fourth Avenue, between 59th Street and 60th Street.

Officer Galapo and his partner were arresting two suspect who had just engaged in a narcotics transaction.

The officers had both suspects place their hands on the hood of a car and, as Officer Galapo moved in to handcuff the suspects, one of the men spun around and struck Officer Galapo's partner in the arm. Officer Galapo's partner arm was thrown to the side and his firearm discharged one round. The round struck Officer Galapo in the head. Officer Galapo was transported to the hospital where he died several hours later from the wound.

The suspect was apprehended after a short pursuit and charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Officer Galapo had served with the New York City Police Department for five years and was assigned to Brooklyn South Narcotics. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 27862

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

So many times I've come to read and often I've wanted to write but found it difficult to put my thoughts down.

It's going to be 32 years this year (August 2020). I just can't believe that number! I remember praying to make it thru the first week. Then I set my sights on getting thru the first month, then year and this holiday or that occasion and somehow the days and weeks and months and years went flying by! Almost 32 of them!

The most amazing thing is that he is never far from us. We speak of him often and I made sure that everyone understood it was OK to do that. He was the most "full of life" person and we couldn't be sad every time we spoke of him. So, we tell stories of the insane things he did and (good and bad!!) and the fun times we all had together. Our love for him remains intact and he will always hold a special place in our heart.

Life is "different" since he left us. Different isn't bad...It's just different. It was a big adjustment, especially for the boys but we managed to live a good life. They gave me a run for my money, that's for sure! There was a lot of spoiling them rotten going on! (I was guilty of that too!!). I was really lucky though. We have great family and friends. They stepped up to the plate from day one, my family and Joe's family. My friends and Joe's friends ! Joe's mom and I are best friends too! We speak every morning and every evening!

Then there's our BLUE family. They are the most amazing people ever. The guys in Joe's office, Brooklyn South Narcotics, took care of us and never left us. Not in 32 years!!! We still keep in touch. They are only a phone call away. There's also the rest of the NYPD, they never left us either. I can't name everyone because I'd be here all day but they go from the DEA ,PBA , and so many line organizations. They have helped me more than anyone can imagine and I'm eternally grateful to them. Joe would be so proud of them. They really mean it when they say " They take care of their own".
Even officers from other states we've met along the way treat us like family!

The boys are all grown up now. Dan is living in Florida with his wife and daughter and is a realtor. Robby is living in Brooklyn with his wife, 2 daughters and his son Joe! Richie is in New Jersey and married now also. I'm sure they will be starting a family soon. They are all doing well.

To those of you who have taken the time to leave your thoughts here, I want to thank you. I really enjoyed reading them. They are so touching and I know it's not always an easy thing to do. My youngest son was only a year and 8 months old when we lost Joe and he once, not very long ago mentioned how strange it was that he doesn't remember what Joe's voice sounded like. Many of the "memories" he know's are the memories others have shared.
So I thought I'd ask if anyone had memories of Joe they would like to share here or you can email me ([email protected] ) it would be great to share them with the boys.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts

PS ...Captain Green... I remember that Lenox Dove candy dish! I still have mine!! :)

Lana Galapo (Helen Lana Galapo)

March 23, 2020

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