LOCKPORT – Mayor Michael W. Tucker told the Common Council on Wednesday that he has received a proposal to rename a park in the city after Buffalo Police Officer Patricia A. Parete, a Lockport native.
The request to change the name of Rogers Avenue Park raised concerns among the aldermen. They don’t question that Parete, a 1983 Lockport High School graduate, is worthy of being honored.
“I definitely think she’s someone who deserves it,” Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick said.
The problem arises because of other seemingly worthy individuals after whom the city has not named anything.
For example, the Council declined to name anything after Spc. Albert R. Jex, a Lockport native killed in Iraq Feb. 9, 2009. Two years later, his family proposed naming a bridge over the Erie Canal after him. Jex ended up with a park bench on Locust Street.
“We didn’t do anything for Jeff Incardona, either,” Alderwoman Kathryn J. “Kitty” Fogle noted.
Incardona was a Niagara County sheriff’s deputy killed July 22, 1993, when his speeding patrol car crashed into a utility pole on Niagara Street in Lockport as he was rushing to aid Steven Biles, a Lockport policeman who had been shot.
Parete died Feb. 2 at age 48. She had been a quadriplegic since she was shot Dec. 5, 2006, while she and her partner, Officer Carl E. Andolina, tried to quell a fight at a gas station-convenience store at West Chippewa Street and South Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. Andolina was wounded but recovered.
Tucker said Parete’s classmates are having their 30th reunion in July. “They wanted something to announce,” he said.
“I grew up with all of them,” said Alderman John Lombardi III. “We need to talk about this.”
“I think it’s an OK idea,” Tucker told the Council. “If anybody’s warranted to have a park or something named after her, I think Patty Parete falls into that category.”
Fogle suggested naming a park to generally honor public servants who died in the line of duty. She proposed calling it Fallen Heroes Park.