SUNSET PARK — An NYPD detective killed in the line of duty three decades ago was honored Friday morning with a police harbor boat officially named after him.
Det. Anthony J. Venditti was fatally wounded on Jan. 21, 1986 during a shootout, while he was investigating members of the Genovese crime family, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said during a dedication ceremony at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park.
The 45-foot, high-tech NYPD boat, known as a "launch," was christened with Venditti's name emblazoned on it.
In the wake of a terror attack in the city of Nice, the ceremony began with a rendition of the French national anthem to remember the 84 people who were killed there on Thursday. For Bratton, honoring both Venditti and the victims in France struck him as symbolic.
"Tony gave his life fighting an earlier form of terrorism," Bratton said. "A terrorism of organized crime and all the terror that it created and continues to create even today."
Though Bratton said he didn't know Venditti, the audience was filled with friends and family.
The slain detective "was an outstanding member and a proud member of the New York City Police Department," the commissioner said.
Venditti was appointed to the NYPD in 1972. He was initially assigned to precincts in the Bronx — the 50th and 48th — and "always liked to think of himself as a Bronx cop," which is considered an accolade on the force, Bratton said.
He was promoted to detective in 1984, and later assigned to the organized crime task force specializing in illegal gambling and mafia case enforcement.
Two years later, Venditti was killed in the Queens shootout.
Three people were arrested but none were convicted for his murder, though they were eventually convicted of racketeering, according to the New York Daily News.
Yet the detective's mother could not ignore the lack of conviction against her son's killers.
"To this day, his death remains unresolved," Ann Venditti said at the ceremony.
Venditti had four daughters, and was an accomplished musician, an avid reader and an able mechanic for cars, motorcycles and boats, his mother said.
"He took great pride in his job," she said. "But the water, boating, fishing– they were his passion."
The boat-naming, she said, was "the ultimate tribute" to her fallen son.
"My heartfelt wish is that those of you assigned to this launch in whatever capacity should feel honored and proud to serve under its name," she said.