Syracuse cop who was attacked and fired deadly shot named Officer of the Year

Syracuse officer who was attacked and fired deadly shot named officer of the year

Syracuse Police Officer Kelsey Francemone has been recognized by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Police Officer of the Year.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul presented the award at Syracuse Police Headquarters Thursday afternoon.

On Father’s Day 2016, Francemone was the first officer to respond to a large gathering that grew out of control, with at least 37 shots fired. Francemone fired her service weapon at an armed man. Gary Porter, 41, was killed.

Francemone was cleared by a Grand Jury of any wrongdoing. The Onondaga County District Attorney later said had other officers not responded to the scene, Officer Francemone would have been killed by the crowd.

The award plaque from the governor's office says it is presented to Francemone "in recognition of her exceptional valor in service to the people of the State of New York thereby upholding the highest traditions of law enforcement."

Officer Francemone is the first female officer to individually receive the governor's Officer of the Year Award and the first Syracuse Police Officer to receive the honor.

"If not for Officer Francemone's quick response and almost unbelievable personal courage, it is almost certain more people would have lost their lives in this tragic gunfight," Chief Frank Fowler said in a release. "She has brought great credit upon herself and the Syracuse Police Department as a whole. We are proud to have her among our ranks."

According to a release by the governor's office, this is how Syracuse Police described the events of June 19, 2016 in its nomination of Francemone:

It was about 11 p.m. when Francemone - who was 22 at the time - responded to a report of a man down, not far from where she was patrolling. The initial call was unfounded, but she heard multiple gunshots originating from disorderly crowd of several hundred gathered at a large party nearby at the Geddes Apartments. Without hesitation, she ran toward the direction of the gunshots as panicked people streamed in the opposite direction, and confronted an armed man, who was firing a handgun at other individuals in the crowd.

Francemone ordered the individual to drop his weapon. When he didn't comply with her direction, she shot him once, wounding him. The man dropped his weapon and fled around a corner of a building, out of her line of sight. When she attempted secure the scene and locate the injured man, she was encircled by the crowd, members of which began to physically attack her.

As she was besieged by punches and kicks, her uniform was ripped by individuals attempting to take her badge and service weapon. Francemone defended herself throughout the attack, refusing to relinquish either item. Officers responding to the scene pulled their colleague from the melee, but were mobbed by the unruly crowd. The ensuing riot prompted Syracuse Police to seek mutual aid from police agencies throughout Onondaga County. After the incident was under control, investigators later recovered nearly 40 shell casings from the scene and estimated there were roughly a half-dozen gunmen firing weapons in the officers' proximity.

Earlier this year Francemone was also named a Top Cop by the National Association of Police Organizations.

Francemone joined the Syracuse Police Department in 2014.

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