Retired Emergency Manís Association
NYPD Captain from Yonkers Honored
By MICHAEL GANNON AND BILL HUGHES
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: June 10, 2005)
A Yonkers resident and New York City Police captain injured in a shooting in Harlem almost two years ago was honored yesterday by police and Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the department's second highest honor for valor.
Kenneth Girven, a 36-year-old resident of the Wakefield Park section of Yonkers, was one of 34 officers from 17 commands honored at yesterday's ceremony, presided over by Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. He was shot in the abdomen just below his bulletproof vest in 2003 while breaking up the attempted robbery of a Harlem social club.
Hundreds of uniformed officers, family and friends packed the large plaza in front of One Police Plaza, the NYPD's headquarters across the street from New York's City Hall. Girven was presented with an award known as The Combat Cross, a medal on a ribbon which Bloomberg placed on his neck.
After the ceremony, Girven said he had "a few aches and pains" from the shooting, but that he was otherwise fully recovered and now serving as the Commanding Officer of Transit Precinct No. 4.
He was working in plain clothes and driving alone along 154th Street in an unmarked police car shortly after midnight Aug. 27, 2003, when he saw two suspicious men in the street. He told investigators he saw one man crouch down behind a parked SUV before he approached the other man, identified himself as a police officer and asked, "What's up?"
The man who was crouched behind the vehicle sprang up and fired three shots, one of which struck Girven, who drew his weapon, but fell to the ground before he could return fire as the men fled. The captain was conscious and alert after he was shot and radioed for backup.
Roland Roberts, 24, was sentenced in December to 18 years to life for attempted murder. He is in Attica Correctional Facility upstate.
Girven's brother, Charles, also is an NYPD captain, and his father, also named Charles, is a retired member of the department. Another brother, Christopher, is a former Yonkers cop and current New York City fireman.
The Combat Cross is the second highest departmental award for New York City Police. Created in 1934, the award is a gold Maltese cross hung from a green ribbon. The medallion in the center of the cross bears the New York City seal, and the back is engraved with the bearer's name and the year in which he or she won it.