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Army Staff Sgt. James D. McNaughton

Died August 2, 2005 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

27, of Middle Village, N.Y.; assigned to the 306th Military Police Battalion, 800th Military Police Brigade, Army Reserve, Uniondale, N.Y.; killed Aug. 2 by enemy sniper fire in Baghdad.

New York police officer killed in Iraq

By David B. Caruso
Associated Press

NEW YORK — A New York City police officer serving in the Army Reserve was shot and killed by a sniper while guarding prisoners at a camp in Iraq, city officials said Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. James McNaughton, 27, is the first member of the force to be killed in action in Iraq, the police department said. He died Tuesday at Camp Victory, outside Baghdad.

McNaughton joined the New York Police Department in July 2001 and was assigned to its transit bureau, which patrols city subways.

Police work was the family business. His father is a retired New York police officer. His stepmother is an officer in the transit bureau. He was engaged to be married to an officer in the 9th Precinct.

McNaughton, whose family lived in Centereach, on Long Island, deployed to Iraq with the 306th Military Police Battalion, 77th U.S. Army Regional Readiness Command, based at Fort Totten, in Queens.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a written statement announcing the death, “James McNaughton made our city safe as a police officer and gave his life defending our country.”

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said McNaughton “embodied the motto of the NYPD: Fidelis ad Mortem, faithful until death.”

McNaughton is one of 273 members of the police department on active duty.

A city firefighter, Christian Engeldrum, was killed in Baghdad in 2004 while serving with the Army National Guard.

Police Officer Brian Kenny, who worked with McNaughton protecting lower Manhattan’s transit systems after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, called him a “squared-away guy” who looked young for his age but displayed a rock-steady professionalism.

“He was a military person,” Kenny said. “If your assignment that night was to work with Jimmy, you couldn’t get a much better assignment. You knew you were going to have fun and you knew the job was going to get done right.”

McNaughton served one tour of duty in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks, returned to the police department, then left for a second deployment overseas, Kenny said.

A state law passed this year will ensure that McNaughton’s family will receive a full pension and death benefits, as if he had died while wearing his police uniform.

McNaughton served ‘his whole life’

The Associated Press

James D. McNaughton took on two dangerous vocations — as a cop and as a military policeman.

“Most people don’t know what the word samurai means. It means to serve,” said William McNaughton, his father. “He’s been serving his whole life. He’s been carrying a gun since he was 18.”

James McNaughton, 27, of Middle Village, N.Y., was killed Aug. 2 by sniper fire in Baghdad. He was based at Uniondale.

McNaughton graduated high school in 1996 and joined the police in July 2001. He patrolled the city’s subways on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift.

“In the Transit bureau he was a front-line protector of this city, patrolling stations alone, after midnight,” said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. “He volunteered for the worst assignments, at the worst times.”

Friends said he lived to serve others.

“He would take the bullet for you. He would literally stand in front of you and take that bullet,” said Sgt. Berford Rivera.

McNaughton was living out a family tradition when he joined the police force. His father is a retired police officer. His stepmother, Michele, is a transit bureau officer. He also was engaged to a policewoman, Liliana Paredes.

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