Team sends f lowers to families, departments of slain police officers
The police department in Yarmouth, Mass., was mourning the death of one of its officers, Sean Gannon, last month when a bouquet arrived at the station bearing a card with five unexpected words: “From the New York Yankees.”
“I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan, and my first reaction was, ‘Call the delivery guy and tell him to take them back,’” said Frank Frederickson, the Yarmouth police chief. “I say that in jest, of course. That is a class move, and it meant a lot to us. All the guys came down and wanted to see it. They were like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ”
Reactions were similar at the sheriff’s department in Lebanon, Ind., last month and at a home in Fargo, N.D., in 2016, and dozens of other locations from Maine to Alaska. For the past three years, the Yankees have been quietly sending flowers to the families and police departments of slain law enforcement officers
In most of the places, the immediate question was similar: Why would the Yankees send flowers to us?
The gesture grew from something the Yankees have done for decades — sending flowers to the funerals of officers killed in the New York metropolitan area.
But one day in 2015, Sonny Hight, a former detective in the New York Police Department who is a Yankees vice president and the chief security officer, expanded the program.
Hight said there is no political agenda behind the gesture. It was, and remains, merely an expression of sympathy.
The goal of the project is to deliver flowers to the funerals or station houses of every officer killed in action nationwide, but it is difficult to keep pace. Debbie Nicolosi, a Yankees employee since 1973, finds the names and addresses, and arranges for the flowers and cards to be delivered.
“We don’t even know how many we have sent,” Nicolosi said. “It can sometimes be as