Memorial dedicated in Tarrytown for Troopers killed in line of duty

Memorial dedicated in Tarrytown for Troopers killed in line of duty
PBA, 2003-10-07

On Monday, October 6, a memorial was dedicated at SP Tarrytown, Westchester County, in memory of the Troopers who have been killed in the line of duty who were stationed in Zone 1 of Troop T (Thruway). The names of two Troopers, Trooper Robert Ambrose and Trooper Salvatore Embarrato, are etched in a memorial stone. PBA President Daniel M. De Federicis spoke at the dedication and assured family members, friends and fellow Troopers who worked with Trooper Ambrose and Trooper Embarrato that these two respected Troopers will never be forgotten.

To read a story published in The Journal News newspaper about the dedication ceremony, click on the link below or refer to the text.

2 troopers memorialized in stone

(Original publication: October 7, 2003)

TARRYTOWN — He worked out vigorously at a time when few people did. He was a tireless reader, known to devour every book he could get his hands on. He loved all kinds of music, and his favorite TV show was "The Big Payoff."

Anita Culosi of Annandale, Va., realizes that many state troopers know that her brother, Trooper Salvatore J. Embarrato, died in the line of duty on July 6, 1961, when his car rolled down an embankment as he pursued a speeder on the state Thruway in Tarrytown.

But she also understands that many of the troopers on the job today weren’t even born when her older brother — the one her father nicknamed "Sonny" — died at the age of 30.

So at a dedication yesterday of a plaque outside the Troop T barracks in honor of Embarrato and Trooper Robert W. Ambrose, a Troop T member who died on the job last year, Culosi spent a few minutes talking about her brother. Her sister, Marie Arra of Nutley, N.J., was also present.

When Culosi had finished, her voice trembling with emotion, the hundred or so people who gathered under a bright fall sky outside the barracks on South Broadway rose to their feet and applauded.

She started by saying, "None of you really knew Sal, you only knew of Sal," then proceeded to tell how her brother was born Sept. 29 — the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of law enforcement. He served as an altar boy, played the clarinet, loved to play softball and competed fiercely on the handball court. He taught himself to juggle and enjoyed fencing — "but not the kind where you sell stolen goods," she said to laughs.

He entered Fordham University to become a doctor, but left due to a lack of funds. He then served in the military in Korea and decided to join the state police upon returning home.

"He was proud to be a trooper," she said.

Culosi recalled her brother’s funeral and how Tarrytown residents and shopkeepers approached her family to tell them stories of how Embarrato would dig into his own pocket to buy Easter baskets and Christmas presents, which he quietly distributed to the needy.

"I wish you all would have had the honor to have known my brother," Culosi said.

Retired Capt. Don Pinto did. He and Embarrato joined the state police on May 22, 1958, and attended the academy, where Embarrato finished first in their class. Pinto called him the smartest man he has ever known. He said that among Embarrato’s many fine traits was his willingness to help others. On the day he died, Embarrato was working another trooper’s shift so his colleague could tend to personal business.

"I’m sure that, if he had lived, he would have made it to the top of this job," Pinto said.

Speaker after speaker yesterday, including state police Superintendent Wayne E. Bennett, troopers union President Dan DeFedericis and Maj. George P. Beach II, the commander of Troop T, expressed hope that no more names would be added to the stone that now sits outside the barracks.

While few of those present yesterday knew Embarrato, many knew Ambrose, the gentle giant of a man who died Dec. 19 on the Thruway in Yonkers. Ambrose, 31, of Pearl River was stopped on the shoulder, investigating a minor accident, when his cruiser was struck from behind by a speeding vehicle and burst into flames. Two others also died in the crash.

Ambrose’s parents, Wayne and Evelyn, his sister, Christina, 18, and his brother, Paul, 29, attended the ceremony and had their picture taken in front of the new monument.