NOPD's Passaro, slain and wounded St. John deputies honored - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

NOPD's Passaro, slain and wounded St. John deputies honored

Stephanie Passaro (L.), the wife of wounded NOPD Officer John Passaro, accepts a valor award on his behalf. Stephanie Passaro (L.), the wife of wounded NOPD Officer John Passaro, accepts a valor award on his behalf.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre

New Orleans, La. — In a ballroom inside the Hilton Riverside the dangers of fighting crime were laid bare as law enforcement officers who were killed or wounded in the line of duty were honored.

"I'm going to fight for you, I'm going to pray for you that you never will have to go through this because it's not easy," said a tearful St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre as he turned to other law enforcement leaders.

Tregre received an award for his department Tuesday in the wake of the August 2012 ambush that claimed the lives of two of his deputies and left two others seriously wounded. The widows of the slain deputies were also honored.

Deputy Michael Scott Boyington is one of the deputies who survived the shooting and he attended the luncheon put on by Crimestoppers.

"Took a lot of damage physically and mentally... every day we just take it day by day," he said.

"Thank God he's still with us. He has a number of surgeries still to complete," said Sheriff Tregre as he stood next to Boyington.

The wife of New Orleans Police Officer John Passaro was also recognized and she accepted a valor award for her husband, who is still recovering after being shot by a criminal at the Dollar General Store on Poland Avenue last month.

"It's a little upsetting because he couldn't be here with us, he was excited.  But his progress is moving forward every day. His wit is still there, his spirits are very high," said Stephanie Passaro.

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said at the event that his department is making significant progress as it tries to catch Passaro's shooter.  He said tips are coming in to Crimestoppers.

"We've met with many people in the neighborhood who are just fed up with the idea that this happened and want to help us, so we hope and we feel that in the not-too-distant future we should be able to make an arrest," said Chief Serpas.

And Mrs. Passaro said her husband definitely wants to return to work with the NOPD once he's fully recovered.  "Absolutely, nothing will keep him down, this was his dream and we'll continue on," she said.

Boyington has given Passaro advice on dealing with the trauma of being shot and the recovery.  "I actually have already visited him…he's going through a lot of things I went through," said Boyington.

Passaro's wife and the police chief were touched by people in attendance, writing notes to the wounded officer.  "It's heartwarming," said Mrs. Passaro.

"I can imagine John's spirits would be lifted by seeing one note after another," said Chief Serpas.

Former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten was also honored during Tuesday's luncheon.

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