The officers want the money to go to family members as soon as possible.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Several city police officers are heading to New York City later today, and they're not going empty-handed.
Lt. Cathy Giovannone and Sgt. Joe O'Grady said about 12 officers will take a $17,000 check to help the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The officers said the money will go to family members of police officers who died during the attacks.
The money was raised by city police officers and other area police departments, O'Grady said.
"We want to hand deliver this to the people that need it," said Patrol Officer Gary Riggins, another of the officers making the trip.
"We did a lot of fund raising to get this money, and we made an obligation to the people that gave the money that the funds would go to the victims as soon as possible."
Victims' families: Giovannone and O'Grady said the New York City Police Department will put them in touch with people who lost a loved one in the attack.
"We want the money immediately disbursed, no waiting, no red tape," Riggins said. "We don't want to slam other charities because we know several have done a lot of good things, but we just want to make sure our money gets to the people who need it now."
Warren pride: Sgt. Bill Boldin, another officer who helped raise the funds and who is going to New York, said he is proud that the people of Warren and the police officers were able to raise so much money.
"Our goal was to raise $10,000, and we nearly doubled that, and that says a lot about the generosity of the people here," Boldin said. "When I watched these attacks on television, I felt so horrible, and what made it worse was the fact that I couldn't do anything. Being able to collect the money and now bring it to some of the people that were hurt makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile."
Giovannone said the officers are going to meet at the city department around midnight tonight and hope to arrive in New York City around 8 a.m. Friday.
"We would like to meet with the victims Friday and then we are going to take a tour of ground zero," O'Grady said.
Riggins and Boldin said the city officers will attend a memorial service Sunday in New Jersey for the 37 police officers who died in the attacks.
"Any day you go out on this job it could be you that dies, and so I think it is fitting for us to go and honor those who died," O'Grady said.