On Thurs. Oct. 8th,2015 at approximately 1330 hrs. Police Officer Christopher Canale of the NYC Police Department, Transit Bureau was traveling with his family on the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County, NY. While he was driving westbound on the LIE between exits 69 and 70 , he observed a small yellow school bus that had crashed into the rear of a tractor trailer. The school bus was engulfed in flames and spewing black smoke into the air. Due to the smoke PO Canale could not see into the school bus and reasonably believed it to be occupied by children. After parking his private vehicle far enough away from the accident scene to ensure the safety of his family, he ran to the school bus. The officer was still not able to see the interior of the bus due to the heavy smoke condition. He then pried open the door of the bus and saw the driver was pinned in the vehicle, he asked the driver if there was anyone else on the bus and was informed by the driver there were no children , but, there was a matron in the rear of the bus. The officer still could not see into the interior of the bus and he instructed the matron to walk toward his voice , he met her halfway down the aisle and assisted her to safety. After removing the matron the officer returned to the driver and was able to extricate him from the bus.
Police Officer Christopher Canales’ actions although off duty and with his family exhibit the highest values of the NYC Police Department. His decisive actions and his courage , placing himself in harms’ way with complete disregard for his own safety is highly commendable. His actions are a tribute to the NYPD and the entire law enforcement community.
For his efforts in saving these two people from either serious injury or worse, the LI Shields are proud to honor PO Christopher Canale as the Cop of the Month.