Fresh Meadows, NY – Today, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) unveiled the renamed Long Island Expressway (“LIE”) overpass at Francis Lewis Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway as “Detective Anastasios Tsakos Memorial Bridge.” On June 30th, Governor Kathy Hochul signed Stavisky and Rozic’s bill to rename the overpass into law and the New York State Department of Transportation installed the signage that was unveiled today.
Stavisky and Rozic were joined by members of the Tsakos family, New York Police Department ("NYPD") Commissioner Keechant Sewell and various units of the NYPD, the Detective Endowment Association, neighboring elected officials, and community leaders for the ceremonial unveiling to honor the passing of Detective Tsakos who was killed in the line of duty.
State Senator Stavisky said: “Today we honor the memory and heroism of Detective Anastasios Tsakos. Future generations will be reminded of his sacrifice and this will demonstrate to the public the dangers our police officers face each day. I hope his family takes solace in the love so many have shown. I want to thank the NYPD and the State DOT for working with us to install these signs.”
“I am honored to unveil this sign that acknowledges and venerates the sacrifices and heroism of Detective Tsakos and all that he represented as one of New York’s finest,” said Assemblywoman Rozic. “While his loss was a tragedy, his memory lives on and will forever remain in our hearts as we utilize this sign to commemorate him for decades to come. This could not have been possible without the help of the State Department of Transportation Region 11 and all the support from the NYPD.”
“Today we stand united to celebrate the life of our beloved Detective Anastasios Tsakos, who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Y. Royster. “We are truly grateful to the elected officials and members of the community for bringing this to fruition. This sign is a promise to the Tsakos family that we will never forget that tragic day, and he will always be in our hearts.”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said: “Police Officer Anastasios Tsakos gave his life to protect every New Yorker who travels on these roadways. They must know and remember his name. While we can never erase his hero family’s pain, we must ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice endures for generations to come – especially the generations of New York City police officers who will carry on his mission. Thank you to everyone who helped make this tribute a reality.”
On April 27, 2021 while responding to a collision that occurred on the LIE to assist with directing traffic, Detective Tsakos was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver. The driver fled the scene but was later apprehended and later charged by a Queens grand jury with a 13-count indictment including aggravated manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.
DEA President Paul DiGiacomo said: “Detective First Grade Anastasios Tsakos is a hero of New York City who leaves behind a loving family and tremendous legacy of service. The Detective Anastasios Tsakos Memorial Bridge honors our fallen hero and memorializes his selfless sacrifice. The Detectives’ Endowment Association is grateful to Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic — and to everyone who joins us in our solemn vow to never forget him. We are honored and proud to have his family as part of our DEA family.”
“Detective Anastasios Tsakos served and protected our communities for over a decade with dignity and grace, and I am proud to join Senator Stavisky and Assembly Member Rozic in renaming the Fresh Meadows LIE overpass in honor of a New York City hero,” said Council Member Linda Lee. “His legacy and impact on the lives of everyone he touched will live on and be remembered by each New Yorker who crosses this bridge. It brings me joy to celebrate Detective Tsakos' committed life of service to our City and I hope that this honor brings some comfort to his loved ones that I know miss him dearly.”
Detective Tsakos had served 13 years with the NYPD as a highway officer assigned to Highway Unit 3. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of detective. From East Northport, he is survived by his wife, Irene, and their two children.