The Continuing C.O. George Motchan Story: Part 6
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The August 1978 issue of The Pen, then NYC DOC's official publication, featured the dedication of Motchan Drive, situated off Hazen Street across from the Correctional Institutions for Women aka CIFW aka C-73. Eleven years later that building, then a male inmate facility, was renamed the George Motchan Detention Center. In subsequent years, the gate at Motchan Drive became less frequently used and awareness that the road had been named for him faded somewhat until revived recently by NYCHS research.

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The August, 1978 issue of The Pen, then the official publication of NYC DOC, part of its front page and parts of inside pages to the Motchan Drive dedication.

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.
About six months before the Motchan drive naming, CO Joseph Connors was tendered a retirement party by COBA. Then Commissioner Joseph D'Elia attended. In this photo from a 1978 COBA News, Charles Jacob, left, makes a presentation to Connors. The article declared: As we in the Correction Department may always remember, it was Joseph Connors and George Motchan who were gunned down when an inmate shot them in his successful escape from the KCH clinic in September of 1975.

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.
One of The Pen's front page photo sections forming the letter "C" shows C.O. George Motchan's widow watching as the Motchan Drive street sign is unveiled on Rikers Island.
He shot Motchan in the bathroom and then charged into the clinic's crowded waiting room where he shot Correction Officer Joseph Connors. The inmate escaped to a waiting car.

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.

The 1978 Pen caption: Commissioner Ciuros presents a replica of the Motchan Drive sign to Supervising Warden Louis Greco, COBA President Richard Basoa, and COBA Recording Secretary Frank Bruni. C0 Bruni, who is also the President of the Long Island Correctional Assoc., originally suggested the idea for a memorial to C.O. Motchan in a letter to the Commissioner.
"But there is solace in the memory of his courage and goodness and in the knowledge that the example of his actions makes us more thoughtful, diligent, and proud to be New York City Correction Officers."

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.
Arrow added to a 1980s Rikers map detail points out Motchan Drive between HDM and AMKC in the vicinity of the circular drive near the old chapel building. Click to access enlarged map detail.

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.

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