It was March 31, 2014 when Johnson City Patrolman Louis Cioci braved a hail of bullets to prevent more people from being killed by the man who fatally shot Officer David "D.W." Smith.

Due to his quick thinking and heroic actions, Patrolman Cioci has been named New York State’s Police Officer of the Year. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul presented Patrolman Cioci the award on Tuesday, September 1st, saying, “No amount of training or time on the job can prepare an officer for the circumstances Patrolman Cioci faced last year. Yet his unwavering courage and poise under intense pressure helped him bring the situation under control without injury – even with many innocent bystanders within close proximity of the gunman. On behalf of Governor Cuomo, we as New Yorkers are proud to celebrate in his heroism and honored to present him with this coveted award.”

Police were called to Southern Tier Imaging at the start of the shift on Monday March 31st when a disturbed employee confronted Smith as he was getting out of his patrol car and shot him in the head with his own service weapon. Cioci ordered the gunman to drop the weapon but the man opened fire. The suspect was shot several times and continued to struggle with police and hospital staff before being subdued. He died later that day of his wounds.

Johnson City Police Chief Brent Dodge said, “There is no doubt in my mind or the minds of the men and women who witnessed the event that Patrolman Cioci's heroic actions and unparalleled performance under some of the most stressful conditions imaginable saved the lives of many innocent New Yorkers that morning."

Patrolman Cioci has served more than 15 years with the Johnson City Police Department and is a member of the agency’s SWAT team. Previously, he was a deputy with the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office and an officer with the Owego (Tioga County) Police Department.

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