Mt. Vernon cop slain by officers gets Medal of Honor

A Mount Vernon detective mistakenly slain by Westchester County police officers received the Medal of Honor Tuesday in a City Hall ceremony.

The honor comes after Officer Christopher Ridley was posthumously promoted to detective. About 24 officers were recognized for their dedication during the event. They include officers who also died in the line of duty and other heroic officers who are still living.

Four county cops gunned down Ridley on Jan. 4 as he tried to break up a fight in White Plains. The officers said they didn't know Ridley was an officer.

The ceremony was bittersweet for Ridley's relatives, who believe the mistake should have never happened. "I don't ever want any other mother to wear my shoes period," said Ridley's mother, Felita Bouche.

The Westchester County Department of Public Safety released a report Tuesday detailing changes in the use of force for rookie and veteran cops to prevent similar tragedies. The report calls for two hours of training in off-duty confrontations, where role playing would be involved.

Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Belfiore plans to lobby Albany lawmakers in June to have the state mandate the training statewide. He also hopes to get some funding to implement the training locally.

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