Fallen Officer Honored In Ithaca

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Fallen Officer Honored In Ithaca

ITHACA (WENY) -- The Ithaca Police Department gathered today to honor and remember an officer killed in the line of duty.
     Investigator Michael Padula was killed in 1996 after serving in the I-P-D for 18 years.
     The Badge of Honor Association held a memorial service for him, where a sign hangs in his honor where his life ended.
     "Enough with the tragedy, let's start thinking about him in life," said Retired Ithaca Police Department Investigator, Brian Robison.
     When Investigator Mike Padula responded to a call on November 17th, 1996, he didn't know it would be his last.
     He died after being stabbed in the neck by a mentally disturbed woman on West State Street.
     But almost 18 years later, his memory and legacy lives on with those he left behind.
     "I remember his smile," said Robison. "He was always smiling. Even when things weren't great for him."
     Just Move on and Let it go. Officers remembered Padula's wise words.
     His partner Bill Finnerty, remembered the good times.
     "I think about him almost everyday, if you can believe it," said Finnerty. "His badge was 1-0-6 and if I look at the digital clock and it says 1-0-6, I immediately think of him. It's crazy."
     Finnerty says Talking baseball, after work plans and lots of laughing was an everyday patrol with Padula.  
     They were partners for nearly a decade.
     "In the business, at that time, He was easily my best friend," said Finnerty. "He was not only a partner and colleague. He was my friend."
     The Badge of Honor Association organized today's ceremony.
     They've honored numerous officers killed in the line of duty around the state since 2007.
     "You can never not honor. You can honor a officer as much as possible," said Jim Collins, President of the Badge of Honor Association. "Especially if one loses his life in the line of duty."
     Michael Padula's Memorial Sign will be a constant reminder of what he did for Ithaca.
     "When you go by there, think of what he, the sacrifice he made for all of us," said Finnerty. "For my family, your family. The people of Ithaca."
     Officers say overtime the building may fall and the sign may fade but the memory of officer Padula will always be in their hearts.