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Brennan Cop of the Year awards - NYPD brass honors police officers Russel Timoshenko and Herman Yan

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was among the list of dignitaries to honor a Brooklyn police legend and two borough cops who lived by his example.

Gathering outside the 67th Precinct on Snyder Avenue – headquarters of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South – squads of NYPD officers honored Detectives Russel Timoshenko and Herman Yan with the Assistant Chief Patrick D. Brennan Cop of the Year award for 2007.

Timoshenko was killed in the line of duty last July when a simple car stop in the southern end of Crown Heights turned into a gunfight with car thieves, officials said.

He and Yan were on patrol when they observed a suspicious vehicle at the corner of Lefferts and Rogers avenues.

The officers ran the plates, only to discover that the vehicle had been reported stolen.

As the officers approached, the three men inside open fire, hitting Timoshenko twice in the face. Yan was shot in chest and arm, officials said.

The suspects sped off, only to abandon the stolen SUV — with their three guns inside — at the corner of Kingston and Lefferts avenues, police said.

Timoshenko died of his injuries a few days later. Yan, who was saved by his bullet-proof vest, wasn’t seriously injured.

“Officer Timoshenko made the ultimate sacrifice with unflinching bravery and dedication to duty,” Commissioner Kelly said. “We’ll never forget him.”

Timoshenko was posthumously promoted to Detective after his death.

Earlier this year, both he and Yan, who was also promoted to Detective, received the coveted Medal of Honor.

While it is yet another honor, the Patrick D. Brennan Cop of the Year award is a special salute to cops who best lived up to the examples of the beloved Assistant Chief – who neither honored cop ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Because of the officers’ bravery, devotion to Brooklynites everywhere and his consummate professionalism throughout the entire ordeal, Assistant Chief Joseph Fox, the commanding officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, found it fitting the two cops receive this lofty honor.

“This award is not just about one job. It’s about the cops they are and the examples to others that they have become,” Fox explained.

Born in County Mayo, Ireland, Brennan started his career as a police officer in 1959 and spent nearly his entire career in Brooklyn where he and his wife Monica raised two daughters and four sons.

Brennan’s first assignment was the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights. He soon moved up in the ranks, achieving a borough command before being promoted to Assistant Chief.

As a commanding officer, Brennan gained the respect and admiration of cops and residents of Brooklyn alike by being open and honest with everyone he spoke to, overwhelming them with his laugh, sparkling eyes and the gentle Irish brogue.

After 33 years on the force, Chief Brennan reached the mandatory age of retirement and had to hang up his uniform. He left his post proudly, happy that Brooklyn South had achieved the largest drop in crime in decades under his watch.

Fox said that he began this special award to honor cops who, as Chief Brennan said, “Go the extra mile and give the extra smile.”

The first recipient was 62nd Precinct Police Officer David Regan, who died in the line of duty as he and his partner raced to a 911 call about a shooting in progress.

In 2001, the award was given to all Brooklyn South officers for the sacrifices they made following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

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