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Lockport to honor Parete among ‘fallen heroes’

LOCKPORT – The controversy over a monument in her hometown for fallen Buffalo Police Officer Patricia A. Parete was resolved amicably Wednesday, as her strongest supporter agreed with city officials that a general memorial for all “fallen heroes” would be acceptable.

Exactly what form that will take has yet to be determined. Mayor Michael W. Tucker will appoint a committee of officials and citizens to come up with a policy on memorials, with two aldermen, Kathryn J. Fogle and Kenneth M. Genewick, serving as co-chairmen.

The other members will include representatives of the Police and Fire departments, a military veteran, a historian and other citizens. Tucker said he expects a report in about two months.

“Thanks for agreeing to find a way to honor our friend Patty Parete,” Joseph DiPasquale, of Buffalo, president of the Lockport High School Class of 1983, told the Common Council at Wednesday’s meeting. “We will hold you to your promise to find a way to honor all our fallen heroes.”

Parete, a member of that class, died Feb. 2 at age 48, after more than six years as a quadriplegic. She was shot in the neck while trying to quell a fight in a Buffalo convenience store.

DiPasquale originally proposed renaming Rogers Avenue Park in Parete’s memory. The Council rejected that idea and last week suggested using a fountain in Outwater Park as a Parete memorial. The fountain hasn’t worked for several years and that its concrete base is crumbling; aldermen suggested that the Class of 1983 should repair it.

The angry DiPasquale then accused city leaders of being unwilling to honor Parete because she was gay, an accusation Tucker vehemently denied.