BY CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ERIC JANKIEWICZ
Loved ones, city officials and thousands of NYPD officers were among those who came out to say goodbye to 38-year-old Bayswater resident Dennis Guerra at his funeral, held at St. Rose of Lima Church Monday.
“Thank you to all those who are here to remember the heroic and courageous acts of Officer Guerra,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said, before announcing the posthumous promotion of Guerra to first-grade detective. “God bless Dennis who was once, and forever will be, an officer in blue.”
Bratton then recounted Guerra’s ascent up the law enforcement ladder, from a school safety officer, to a corrections officer, and finally to a police officer over eight years ago.
“We’ll always remember with sadness that day he left us but we’ll also remember the courage he displayed,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the service. “Dennis is an example for us all.”
Among the many politicians who attended the funeral were Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.
Curtis Mitchell, Guerra’s brother-in-law, also spoke during the funeral, and described how the officer would cook for the whole family on weekends and became known as the “grill master.”
“He was recently called a hero,” Mitchell said. “But to his family, he was always a hero and forever will be.”
“I wish I had another chance to say, I love you,” he continued.
The fallen cop, who left behind a wife and four children, aged 7 to 20, died Wednesday after being overcome with smoke from an April 6 arson fire in Coney Island.
Guerra and fellow housing officer Rosa Rodriguez, 36, were critically injured in a blaze at a Surf Avenue housing development when the elevator doors opened on the 13floor and the officers were engulfed in smoke.
Both officers suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and the effects of smoke inhalation.
Rodriguez reportedly remains hospitalized.
Marcell Dockery, who lives in the housing development where the deadly fire started, was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder Friday, according to published reports. He was already charged with arson, assault and reckless endangerment.
The teen allegedly lit a mattress on fire because he was “bored,” reports said.