On July 12, 1978, nearly three years after Correction Officer George Motchan died in the line of duty, his family, friends, and fellow officers gathered on Rikers Island to see "Motchan Drive" dedicated to his memory.
The Department Honor Guard stood at attention under a warm midday sun and the firing detail saluted with three volleys as Commissioner Ciuros unveiled the "Motchan Drive" street sign for George's widow, "Dolly" Motchan and her son George, Jr. A trumpeteer played Taps while the gathering of over two hundred people paid silent tribute to the slain Correction Officer.
George Motchan was shot on September 9, 1975 by an inmate attempting to escape from the Kings County Hospital Dental Clinic. The inmate recovered a gun from the clinic's bathroom where it was placed moments before by an accomplice.
Officer Motchan died on September 15 and was buried with the Department's highest honors on September 19, 1975, only hours after his killer was recaptured. The man is currently serving a life sentence.
Correction Officer Joseph Connors recovered from his injuries. He received the Medal of Honor on June 29, 1976. He has since retired from the department. Correction Officer George Motchan was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on the same day.
In his tribute to Officer Motchan Commissioner Ciuros said, "Nothing that we do or say will fill the emptiness that his family, friends and fellow officers feel.
Speaking at the dedication ceremony, Peter Tufo, Chairman of the New York City Board of Correction said, "George Motchan unselfishly demonstrated the Correction Officer's dedication to preserving public safety and order in New York City. In dedicating this drive on Rikers Island to George Motchan, we are recognizing not only his heroic efforts but also recognizing through his example the heroic efforts of City Correction Officers past and present.
Congressional responsibilities kept Resentatives Mario Biaggi, Leo Zeferetti and Robert Garcia, who hoped to attend the dedication ceremony, in Washington.
In their telegram expressing their regrets at being unable to attend, the Congressmen stated, "George Motchan was a martyr to the cause of law and order in the City of New York. He died while in the performance of his duties and in defense of his partner. His act was one of supreme courage and for it he did recieve the Medal of Honor.
"All men of corrections understand the hazards involved in the job. But their dedication to serving and protecting the public is foremost to them."
To Part 12: the Motchan Drive Dedication printed program.
[Previous Motchan Story Page] [NYCHS Home Page] [In Memoriam Starter Page]