Anastasios Tsakos’ coffin arrived at Greenlawn Church in a black hearse on Monday morning, accompanied by a caravan of hundreds – police officers, ambulances, motorcycles and other police vehicles.
With a light rain overhead and officers from all over the region in formation, the white and yellow coffin was carried past a series of flower arrangements inside Tsakos.
Two police helicopters circled overhead, while bomb-sniffing dogs surrounded the building.
The parade of police vehicles lasted more than a minute as Shrine Road was closed to public traffic.
The coffin containing NYPD officer Anastasios Tsakos leaves the Farenga undertaker in Astoria, Queens on Monday morning. Photo credit: Craig Ruttle
About an hour later, three NYPD vans carrying Tsakos family members arrived at the funeral home, greeted NYPD officials stationed outside the church and walked inside.
The trail for Tsakos, the East Northport NYPD highway official who was killed last week after being hit by an allegedly drunk, fast-moving driver, begins at 2 p.m. at the Saint Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church.
Get this week’s Suffolk news!
The biggest news, political and criminal stories in Suffolk County in your inbox every Friday at noon.
Tsakos had directed traffic as he responded to an earlier crash on the Long Island Expressway in Queens in the early hours of April 27.
The visit is scheduled until 9 p.m. on Monday. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the church.
Dawn Cameron and Jennifer Martinico live in Greenlawn and came out to watch the move and pay their respects to Tsakos, even though they did not know the officer.
“It’s part of the community,” said Cameron. “Cops help us and they don’t know us either. So we should support them too.”
Martinico added: “I feel like we all need to be together and turn blue again.”
Kelly Fokianos ‘husband Michael is a police officer in Tsakos’ unit and has worked with him for many years. Their children are roughly the same age as Tsakos’ 3 year old son and 6 year old daughter and live in the same town.
“It’s just a very tough day for everyone; for the NYPD, for all officers,” said Fokianos in front of the church as she wiped away her tears. “They risked their lives and that could have happened to anyone. And it’s unfortunate that he had so many plans. And I’m here today to show my support for everyone.”
Fokianos said her husband is “trying to be as strong as possible, but I think they really focus on looking after the family. And just be there for them as they need to.”
Suffolk Police alert motorists to the potential for severe traffic delays on Pulaski Road between Stony Hollow Road and Broadway Greenlawn Road by 9:30 p.m. on Monday. This section of Pulaski Road is closed on Tuesdays from approximately 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tsakos joined the NYPD in January 2007 and was assigned to Highway Unit 3 in August 2014, the NYPD announced. His death marks the NYPD’s first death that year, the department said.
A GoFundMe page set up to support Tsakos’ widow Irene and her 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son had raised more than $ 209,000 as of Monday afternoon.
A separate fundraiser set up by a crowdfunding platform for police and military families has raised more than $ 82,000 to date.
And on Monday, COPSHOT, the company-backed tipline for information on those who shoot police officers, Tsakos’ widow and children, pledged $ 10,000, according to spokesman Steve Mangione.
Hempstead driver Jessica Beauvais, 32, was charged with 13 counts, including grave second degree manslaughter and vehicle manslaughter.
A judge ruled last week that Beauvais should be detained without bail following her indictment in the Queens Criminal Court.
Robert Brodsky is a breaking news reporter who has been with Newsday since 2011. He is a graduate of Queens College and American University.