Cecilia DowdOct 3, 2017, 1:14 pmOct 3, 2017, 4:16 pm

New class of Suffolk PD recruits includes daughter of late 9/11 hero Ray Pfeifer

Pfeifer fought for the Zadroga Act to ensure first responders receive health care

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A new class of 81 police recruits of was sworn in Tuesday morning at the Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood.

“I grew up in Suffolk County and it's just been my dream since day one, seeing the guys, you know, drive around,” said Joe Sanabria of Central Islip.

“We live in the greatest state and the best county and now I get the chance to represent the most prestigious police department in the country,” said West Islip resident Frederick Reed III.

While the journey is just beginning for this class recruits as they embark on careers with the Suffolk County Police Department, we'd be remiss to leave out the journeys that brought each of these men and women to this point.

“I’m hoping that, you know, this is the first of many from my generation to serve in law enforcement,” said Maria Acevedo of Patchogue. She came to the United States from Argentina when she was 12. Acevedo waited nine years for this moment along with her teenage daughter, who has supported her every step of the way.

And Taylor Pfeifer, too has proud family members supporting her every step of the way, including her dad, from above.

“It's always been a dream of mine to follow my father's footsteps and become a first responder and I hope that one day I can leave a legacy like he did,” Pfeifer's said, whose father is Ray Pfeiffer, a firefighter with the FDNY who recently died from 9/11-related cancer.

Ray Pfeiffer fought tirelessly, and successfully, for the passage of the Zadroga bill to ensure first responders receive health care.Taylor says her dad was her hero and her best friend.

“The minute I woke up this morning, I just wanted to give him a call. But the whole ride here I was talking to him, and I said ‘please help me dad. I have no voice, but please help me get through this,’” Taylor said laughing, smiling and referring to the slight sore throat she had.

Pfeifer was always so proud of both his children. Taylor's brother, Terence, is with the FDNY. He was especially proud that the two chose careers that will enable them to give back just like him.

“I've always wanted to be a police officer. After 9/11, seeing all the first responder get together, you know, I was really inspired by them. I want to protect and serve my community,” Taylor said.

In the wake of the Las Vegas killings, a reminder of the danger faced by members of law enforcement across the country, this swearing-in was a lesson in humility.

“Your life comes last and everybody else that's nearby is priority from this day forward,” Acevedo said.

Now begins a great deal of work for the recruits, six months of it to be exact. The training happens at the Suffolk County Police Department and then, graduation.

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