(Tommy's obituary as appeared in the Observer-Dispatch April 17., 2007)


Officer Thomas M. Lindsey,
UPD of Utica

Officer Thomas M. Lindsey, UPD, age 32, of Utica, a five year veteran of the Utica Police Department, made the ultimate sacrifice protecting the citizens of Utica when he passed away on Thursday, April 12, 2007, at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center. He was killed in the line of duty.

Born in Utica on October 1, 1974, Tommy was the son of Arthur "Frank" Sr. and Carmella (Bumbolo) Lindsey. Raised and educated in Utica, he graduated from Utica Senior Academy in 1992.

A proud member of the United States Marine Corps, he served his duty overseas as an Embassy Security Guard from 1993-1999. He then attended college, graduating from MVCC in 2001. At one time he was married to the former Susan Drinkwater.

His life's work began when he was appointed to the Utica Police Department on October 8, 2001. A five year veteran police officer, he was formerly a member of the tactical unit and currently a member of the "C" platoon. Tommy's life was defined by the love of his work. He dedicated his life to doing what he loved best --- his military service and his commitment to protecting Utica. He was awarded several Certificates of Commendation by the Utica Police Department for honorable service rendered in the East Utica and Cornhill areas. He was credited for "alertness, teamwork, dedication, keen powers of observation, and the ability to quickly diffuse a dangerous situation". This was the story of who he was.

Similarly, in his military career, as the United States Marine Corps cited, "He set new standards of professionalism and personal excellence".

In his personal life, he knew the qualities it took to be a good friend, and he respected people. He had a kind heart and always honored his family and guarded their well being. His family asks that you remember him for his dedication to serving others. Although Tommy's journey of life was short, completing tasks, thoughts, and ideas were truly meaningful to him. Confident of spirit, determined of mind, and physically fit of body, he pursued the sport of weightlifting at the Solid Gold Fitness Center, often achieving 1st place in competitions.

He was a member of the Utica Police Association, and a communicant of his family parish, St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish.

Tommy is survived by his mother, Carmella (Bumbolo) Schisler; his father, Frank Lindsey, Sr.; and his paternal grandmother, Lenore Lindsey. Also surviving are his sisters, Edwina M. Lindsey of Schenectady, and Christina A. Lindsey of Yorkville; his brother, Arthur "Artie" Lindsey, Jr. and Elaine Beyel of Utica; his nieces and nephews, Amanda, Jasmine and Paul, Jr.; Juliann; and Braylee, Jordan, and Devin; his many cousins, especially David, Angela, and Brad; and his aunts and uncles, including Roseann, Mike, Mary, Joseph, Anthony, Kathy, and Grant. Tommy knew the closeness of his companion, Lisa Karpowich, her children, Tyler and Kylee, and her entire family; his longtime friend, Tom and his son, who Tommy baptized; and his dear and adored family friend, Christina SanFilippo.

The family extends heartfelt appreciation to the Utica Police Department for their support and unconditional love and respect; to his fellow brotherhood of police officers for their outstanding commitment to Tommy's honor; and to the St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Father Joe Salerno, and the outstanding community at large.

Visitation will be held Monday and Tuesday from 4:00 - 7:00 at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, 2222 Genesee St., Utica. Tommy's funeral service will commence on Wednesday morning at 11:00 at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes where his Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Committal services with Full Police and Military Honors graveside will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Eannace Funeral Home, Inc., 932 South St., corner of Hammond Ave. Online tributes at: http://.EannaceFuneralHome.com

 

 

On April 12, 2007, Utica, NY Police Officer Thomas M. Lindsey was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop. Officer Lindsey was ambushed from behind as he was giving a driver a break for driving through a stop sign. Wesley Molina-Cirino has been convicted of aggravated murder in the death of Officer Lindsey and will be sentenced to life without parole on May 22, 2008.


Officer Down,
A Community Rises

by Nancy L. Ford

A man named Henrik Ibsen had one said, “A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.”

There is no shortage of generosity in Central New York. The Mohawk Valley has always been a special place were benevolence breeds amongst itself. When a hand in need is extended, our community has always stepped up to fill that need. But no matter how much or how often this area has given, no one could have imagined how many people would step up on April 12, 2007.

OFFICER DOWN

It was a bitter cold and rainy April night, a scene that set the tone for what would become one of Utica's worst tragedies. For the second time in a little more than a year, the police scanners in Central New York were afire with urgency: "We have an officer down."

News Channel 2 interrupted programming with breaking news: A Utica Police Officer had been shot and killed...No further details were available.

Every citizen in the area spent the next 12 hours glued to the TV and on the phone trying to find out if it was their friend, their neighbor, their co-worker's husband, wife, son or daughter. Anyone who had ever known a Utica Police officer had a pit in their stomach wondering if it was someone they knew.

The phone lines at headquarters rang off the hook. Every available officer was at the scene and those off-duty called to see if they could help.

On Neilson Street, a tarp laid over the spot where a shadow in the night had stolen the life of a Utica police officer. The faces of law enforcement, politicians, neighbors, news media and a police chief displayed grief, shock, stress and fear. Some just stared blankly into the night, while ignoring the rain, or tears, running down their faces.

At the press conference the next day, the world fell silent as Police Chief C. Allen Pylman, while trying to contain his emotions, told the news: At 9:20 pm, April 12, 2007, Utica Police Officer Thomas M. Lindsey was shot and killed in the line of duty.

A COMMUNITY STEPS UP

The days following were difficult for the Utica Police Department. There was little time for reflection, tears and to process the chilling thought: "It could have been me." Work needed to be done: A murder had to be investigated, a funeral needed to be planned.

But they weren't alone. The Calvary came out of nowhere and they came in great numbers. From near and far they came, marching over the hill, by the masses offering whatever they could: Food, water, flowers, services, money, prayers and of course, more food. For anything that was needed, they came and they gave. Children made cards and grandmothers made food. Business gave money, and restaurants gave food. Police Agencies from all over the globe called, and they sent cards, sent men and sent food.

STANDING TALL

As the week went by, the snow melted, and the sun came out. The day of the funeral was neither too warm nor too cold, but a perfect day for the funeral of one whose last night on earth was so cold and wet.

Police agencies from all over New York State lined up outside the church next to school children, community leaders, friends, neighbors and the average citizen. Genesee Street was lined with mourners from Amy Ave. all the way to the alter inside Our Lady of Lourdes Church. In the midst of it all, the Syracuse Police Department arrived in such an impressive number, it caused everyone to take notice.

Before the procession began, police supervisors organized their units into nice, neat little rows. Tommy's co-workers all stood tall as they lined up two-by-two behind Lt. Louis Capri and Sgt. Tom Brady. Standing along side his fellow honor guard, Sgt. Wayne Manolescue clutched his rifle, waiting to fulfill his heart-felt duty. Three US Marines, stood at attention, barely breathing, barely blinking. Chief Pylman read over his eulogy notes amongst the bag pipers. Officer Joe Cucharale, Tommy's escort for the day, stood by the fallen officer's side, as if keeping him company. Captain Clay Stephens found himself every where at once as he made sure it would all come together perfectly.

As everyone waited, there was little talk about what had actually happened on that terrible night just a few days before. The conversations were nothing more than chit-chat. That is until the procession started.

TIME TO REFLECT

Like the flip of a light switch, everyone went silent, heads held heavy and eyes fell to the ground. Out of respect, no one dared look into the eyes of those around them in fear of invading their privacy by stealing a glimpse of their grieving souls.

When alone with their thoughts, each person must have taken note of the the enormity of the event and what it must have taken to get so much together in such a short time.

A week before, everyone, including Tommy, were all living their normal, routine, little lives with absolutely no idea they would be standing here today. How quickly life can change.

For the first time since April 12th, it was no longer about the tragedy of the murder, but simply about a man and his life. It was all about who Utica Police Officer Thomas M. Lindsey was, and the life he led. It was about a son, a friend, a police officer, a marine and a hero.

Throughout the day each and every person learned more about Tommy than they already knew. There were tears and laughter, blank stares and subtle smiles.

There were so many faces, so many people. It was such an enormous event that from Heaven, everyone there must have looked like a colony of ants. But on the ground, their sorrow was larger than life.

And when everyone took a moment to raise their heavy heads and look around, they were shocked and awed at the masses that stood around them. They found that in the same place were a brave officer had fallen, an entire community, that reached far beyond the boarders of Utica, NY, had compassionately stood up and faced fear, grief and their own mortality without hesitation.




Featured Photographers
Nancy L. Ford / Nancy L. Ford Photography
Katie Bonner / Nancy L. Ford Photography
Kyle Gorton / Nancy L. Ford Photography
Lt. Phil Brockway / Oneida County Sheriff Dept.
Inv. Michael Simmons / Oneida County Sheriff Dept.
Inv. Tim Klock/ Oneida County Sheriff Dept.

Officer Dominic Niti / Utica Police Dept.

Photo Editors
Nancy L. Ford / Nancy L. Ford Photography
Joseph J. Mezzanini / Nancy L. Ford Photography



This photography project
was commissioned by the
Utica, NY PBA.

     

 

 

 

 

OfficerLindsey.com Photo Galleries

 

 

 

 

Utica, NY Police Officer Thomas M. Lindsey,was killed in the line of duty on April 12, 2007. http://OfficerLindsey.com features photo galleries of the events surrounding the tragic shooting death of Officer Lindsey. Lindsey, a veteran of the Utica Police Department, was also a former Marine.

 

http://NLFord.com P h o t o s @ N L F o r d . c o m: Home of Nancy L. Ford Photography, Photographer, Photojournalist, Utica, NY, From the heart of the Mohawk Valley, in Oneida County. Nancy L. Ford, former Photo Editor, Staff photographer with the Observer-Dispatch,freelances in Upstate New York, specializing in Editorial, Commercial, and Portrait Photography. Utica PBA.