Beach 128th Co-Named for Detective Maureen O’Flaherty

 Beach 128th Co-Named for Detective Maureen O’Flaherty

By Katie McFadden

The corner of Beach 128th Street and Cronston Avenue has officially been re-named, Detective Maureen O’Flaherty Way.

On Saturday, June 29, a crowd of family, friends, neighbors, members of the NYPD, the Detectives’ Endowment Association and Councilwoman Joann Ariola gathered on the corner where O’Flaherty used to live, to make sure she’s never forgotten.

Det. Maureen O’Flaherty was a 20-year veteran of the NYPD, having worked in the 67th Precinct. She worked with a joint narcotics task force with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Brooklyn warrants division. She spent the last few months of her NYPD career working down at Ground Zero, helping in the search and recovery and identifying remains following 9/11, before retiring in 2002.

After retiring from the NYPD, O’Flaherty began a second career, continuing to help others, by earning a nursing degree from the College of Staten Island. She became a registered nurse, but in 2017, she found herself ill, diagnosed with uterine cancer. The cancer, that resulted in her having a hysterectomy, was ultimately determined to be 9/11 related. On November 28, 2019, O’Flaherty’s battle came to an end. She died at age 57. O’Flaherty is survived by her husband, Vito Spano, who wanted to memorialize his late wife with a street co-naming in the neighborhood where she played an active role, often donating her time to causes near and dear to her. On Saturday, Spano saw that mission through and the corner was named Detective Maureen O’Flaherty Way.

“Today Belle Harbor remembered the life and legacy of NYPD Detective Maureen O’Flaherty who lost her life in 2019 from cancer related to recovery efforts for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center,” Councilwoman Joann Ariola said. “I was proud to be joined by the new President of the DEA, Scott Munro, to co-name the corner of Beach 128th Street and Cronston Avenue, Detective Maureen O’Flaherty Way.  We will Never Forget her sacrifice and selflessness. May she continue to rest in God’s Eternal Peace.”

Photos by Brian Galarza and the DEA.

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