Remembering Public Safety Officer Jose Matias
Earlier this month, Lower Manhattan lost one of the more recognized faces on its streets, Downtown Alliance public-safety officer Jose Matias. For almost 21 years, Officer Matias served the district with pride each and every day and was frequently commended for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Shortly after starting at the Alliance in 2001, Officer Matias was on during the attack on the World Trade Center. After the second plane hit, he immediately went into action and spent the day providing first aid to pedestrians and manning a blockade at Rector and Washington Streets to help keep other New Yorkers out of harm’s way. But he has since been recognized for many other acts of assistance in Lower Manhattan.
Over the years, Officer Matias has contributed to Downtown’s public safety on issues ranging from helping to connect homeless individuals with much-needed medical attention to once turning in a $1,600 check he found on the street. More recently, Officer Matias was part of a team-wide effort that was commended for their quick response to suspicious activity in Fulton Station in 2019. In addition to alerting officers from NYPD’s 1st Precinct, the team helped divert public traffic during the investigation.
Beyond those individual acts, of which there are many, Officer Matias’s friendly presence over the years was felt widely by the hundreds of thousands of visitors, commuters and residents who passed through his usually-assigned station at Wall Street and Broadway.
“Jose was a diligent worker and soft spoken person,” said Ed Drivick, Assistant Public Safety Director for the Alliance. “He was liked and respected by all his coworkers. He was a good son who lived with his mother and a good brother. If you passed by the NYSE or went into Trinity Church to say a prayer, you probably noticed Jose on post. His contributions can never be quantified, but it’s safe to say he helped thousands of people by giving directions or securing help when needed. His passing isn’t only a loss for his family, but for the Downtown area he served. Rest In peace, Jose.”
photo: downtownny/flickrTags: Office of Public Safety