NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen was remembered as someone who traded a future in finance and business for the opportunity to serve and protect the people of New York City at his Funeral Mass celebrated Oct. 4 at Sacred Heart Church in Monroe.
Officer Mulkeen died from friendly fire in the line of duty with the Bronx’s anti-crime unit Sept. 29, the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of police officers. The suspect with whom he was struggling also died.
Cardinal Dolan was the principal celebrant of the Funeral Mass, while Msgr. Robert Romano, NYPD chaplain and pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Brooklyn, delivered the homily.
Msgr. Romano said two gifts from God, faith and memories, help people pick themselves up in spite of the difficulty of losing a loved one.
“We come here together today to help you to strengthen that faith and the way we best strengthen that faith is through the other gift that God gives to us as human beings, and that’s the gift of memories,” he said.
“Those are the things that we need to dwell on today, not the sadness of this day, but the joy of the many many gifts that we have received through the memories of Brain’s life, how we laughed with him, how we joked with him, how we made our lives better with him and because of him.”
Msgr. Romano added the members of the congregation would see Brian again and share a life of eternity Jesus described in the Gospel from St. John read at the Funeral Mass.
“Jesus says, ‘I have prepared a place for each and every one of you.’ Not for some, not for a few, but for all of us. That promise is a promise for eternal life,” Msgr. Romano said.
In closing his homily, Msgr. Romano shared a letter he received from his friend, a Greek Orthodox priest. “If you love those you’ve lost, you’ve not lost those you love,” he said.
Born in Suffern and raised in Monroe, Mulkeen was a graduate of Monroe-Woodbury High School where he was class president.
He earned a degree in finance from Fordham University, where he was a two-year field captain for the track and field team and was a member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He worked at Merrill Lynch and the Town of Tuxedo Police Department before becoming a NYPD officer.
Officer Mulkeen joined the 48th Precinct in the Bronx nearly seven years ago and became a member of the anti-crime unit in 2017. As a member of the NYPD, more than half of his more than 260 arrests were for felonies and he pulled 40 guns off the streets.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill remembered Officer Mulkeen as someone with ability and promise to succeed, who gave up his first career to serve and protect others as a police officer.
“It was clear to Brian that his mission was to protect and serve others, to do something brave, to do something courageous,” Mayor de Blasio said. “He chose to leave that very comfortable life and he joined the NYPD. We will be forever grateful for that decision.”
Commissioner O’Neill announced Officer Mulkeen was promoted posthumously to detective first grade.
“Officer Brian Mulkeen is gone but he’ll never be forgotten because as long as the NYPD exists, we’ll forever honor him every day by continuing to do the work he died doing,” he said.
Following the Mass, the congregation exited Sacred Heart Church singing “God Bless America.” Outside, “Taps” and “America the Beautiful” were played.
Survivors include his parents, Brian and Camille; a brother, Eric; a sister, Erin; and his fiancée, Sherry Hodges, also an NYPD officer.
Burial took place at Ascension Cemetery, Airmont.