Who We Are

Kathleen Murray, Susan McCormack, and Mary Beth O’Neill with Governor Mario Cuomo as he signs the COPS (Care of Police Survivors) bill into Law, May, 1990

Our mission statement
To support families of fallen NYPD officers

Survivors of the Shield
To Honor and Remember

Survivors of the Shield (SOS) is an IRS approved 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides important support services to the families of our fallen NYPD officers killed in the performance of their duties.

Board Members:
Kathleen Vigiano
Widow of Detective 2 Joseph Vincent Vigiano

James Smith
Widower of Police Officer Moira Ann Reddy-Smith
Vice President

Patti McDonald
Widow of Detective 1 Steven D. McDonald
2nd Vice President

Margaret McDonnell-Tiberio
Widow of Police Officer Brian Grady McDonnell
Recording Secretary

Elizabeth K. S. Campagne
Widow of Police Officer Anthony W. Sanchez


Kathleen Murray
Widow of Police Officer Brian J. Murray
Susan McCormack
Widow of a Police Officer Joseph McCormack
Mary Beth O’Neill
Widow of a Police Officer Thomas Ruotolo

Past Presidents:

Susan McCormack
Widow of a Police Officer Joseph McCormack

Barbara Nugent
Widow of Police Officer Kenneth A. Nugent

Grace Russell
Widow of Michael D. Russell

Lana Galapo
Widow of Police Officer Joseph Galapo

Maureen Brinkers
Widow of Lieutenant Jan Brinkers

Lori Gunn
Widow of Detective William T. Gunn


Survivors of the Shield (SOS) was founded in 1988, through the efforts of three line of duty police widows, Kathleen Murray, Mary Beth O’Neill, and Susan McCormack. SOS seeks to serve our families by providing emotional and economic assistance.

Our legislative successes have benefited not only families of fallen NYPD officers, but has reached across the boundaries to FDNY, EMT’s, and all volunteer firefighters throughout the state of New York.

We remember not only the ultimate sacrifice of our fallen heroes, but the sacrifices made every day of their service to the city of New York.


Survivors of the Shield  initiated the passage of former Governor Mario Cuomo’s COPS Agenda (Care Of Police Survivors), including the following bills:

  • Lifetime pension benefits regardless of marital status
  • New York State Memorial Scholarship administered by HESC, offers tuition, housing expense assistance to spouses and children of fallen public safety officers. The scholarship applies to any SUNY or CUNY school. The same amount can be applied toward tuition at any private accredited college in New York State
  • An award paid by the Crime Victims Board to assist with funeral and psyocological expenses
  • Monuments constructed in Albany and Battery Park City honoring police officers killed in the line of duty
  • General Municipal Law Section 205-e amended, which allows police officers and their families the right to sue
  • In addition, founders of SOS, Kathleen Murray, Susan McCormack, and Mary Beth O’Neill worked together with the New York State Commissioner of motor vehicles to create and distribute license plates for police survivors. SOS License plates are available to parents, spouses and children of the fallen officer. To apply for a Survivors of the Shield license plate, call 646-827-0500. Coming soon online request.





Survivors of the Shield • Church Street Station • PO Box 436 • New York • NY • 10008-0436