As a sign of commitment and appreciation to the first responders who risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, Dec. 23 to honor the two New York City police officers killed in the line of duty in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Police Officer Wenjian Liu and Police Officer Rafael Ramos were ambushed, shot and killed while sitting in their patrol car at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Thompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Their assassin has been identified as a gang member from Baltimore, Maryland, who had traveled to New York City specifically to ambush police officers. The man had published his intentions on social media prior to the shooting. The killer subsequently committed suicide.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the fallen heroes as well as and all members of the New York City Police Department,” said Odell. “The murders of officers Liu and Ramos were heinous acts that remind us, as a society, the possible dangers that law enforcement officials face every time they walk out the door. Putnam County is made up of first responders – career and volunteer, and we stand united with the men and women in blue in the NYPD and throughout the country.”

Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith concurred with Odell’s sentiment.

“All of us who serve in law enforcement are both troubled and deeply saddened by the horrific killing of two of New York City’s finest police officers, yesterday in Brooklyn,” said the sheriff. “On behalf of all the members of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Facility, we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to all the members of the Ramos family and the Liu family on the passing of their brave loved ones. We also send our condolences to all of our brothers and sisters in the New York City Police Department on the loss of their heroic colleagues. ”

To further demonstrate the county’s solidarity with law enforcement officers, the historic Putnam County Courthouse will be lit up blue for the remainder of the month as part of the national “Lights On” vigil for officers Liu and Ramos.

Odell is also asking the towns and villages within the county to display their flags at half-staff to honor the service and sacrifice made by law enforcement officers.