Detectives' Endowment Association, Inc. — Paul DiGiacomo, President

The DEA Honor Roll

Official Line of Duty Deaths

Robert F. Larke

Rank: Detective, second grade

Shield Number: 2274

Command: Employee Management Division, Central Personnel Index

Date of Death: 06/07/2017

Cause of Death: Illnesses contracted as a result of work on the rescue and recovery from the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001.

Robert F. Larke was the only child of parents who lived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He served four years in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, and once honorably discharged, he returned to New York City where he worked as a teller for Greenpoint Savings Bank. One day while visiting friends in Queens, he saw a flyer about the NYPD test, which he took, and at age 24, joined the force on April 3, 1968.

One day later, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and members of the Police Academy were moved onto the streets of New York City in grey uniforms. In June, Robert Kennedy was assassinated and members of the Academy remained on patrol during their entire period of training during that volatile year.

Officer Larke was later assigned to a highway car in a Motorcycle Unit, but then transferred to the 19th Precinct, where he handled a variety of duties in that busy Upper East Side, showcase location.

While attending New York Institute of Technology and John Jay College of Criminal Justice at night, Officer Larke was offered an NYPD day position as a criminal analyst, and when budget cuts eliminated MOS from that position, he relocated to Central Personnel Index, where he was promoted to Detective on May 24, 1988. He earned second grade on June 27, 1997. He also earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from NYIT in Old Westbury.

After 38 years with the Department, Det. Second Grade Larke aged out of the NYPD, retiring out of the Employee Management Division, Central Personnel Index unit on November 30, 2006. He was described as quiet, steady, and always a dependable worker.

Because of the many hours he logged in the field during the rescue and recovery from the World Trade Center attacks of 2001, Det. Larke’s illnesses, contracted in retirement, were tied to his work with the NYPD and his death was declared in the line of duty. He passed away on June 7, 2017, at the age of 73-1/2. Det. Larke was survived by his wife and three sons.

On October 11, 2019, his name was added to the NYPD memorial wall at Battery Park City. In 2019, his name was also added to the police memorial walls in Albany, New York and Washington, DC.

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