Detective Vito Friscia dreamed of being a cop as a child growing up on Long Island.
He is a reluctant hero, shying away from public recognition for the contributions he made to the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts. More concerned about the welfare of others than his health, Friscia balances the tragedy with his duty as a NYPD officer.
I'd do it again. I'd do it a hundred times if I had to.
He joined the NYPD in 1987 and moved through every unit. He served as an anti-crime plain-clothes officer, working cases involving major felonies. He spent three years in street narcotics enforcement in Brooklyn during the most exciting time of his career.
When his daughter was born, Friscia gave up his fearless cowboy attitude. He transferred to the 90 th and, ultimately, 77th precinct detective squads where he focused on homicides and assaults, replacing situations posing immediate danger with investigative work.
In March 2001, the 77 th domestic violence unit was created. Most U.S. homicides result from domestic disputes. For the next four years, Friscia and his partner worked thousands of cases. The job required personality, violence probability assessment and the ability to counsel potential offenders and victims. In 2005, he was promoted to Brooklyn 's homicide task force.
Friscia derives great support from his wife, children, family and friends. He copes with stress from the job by coaching youth sports teams. He shares a bond with a group of 13- and 14-year-olds who he considers his daughters — a soccer team he's dedicatedly coached for more than nine years. He and those close to him believe this special relationship prevented him from sinking into a deep depression after 9/11.
His interest in coaching children's sports began when his younger brother's team was in need of guidance and inspiration. Friscia's coaching theory is simple — learning the fundamentals of the game, anchoring it with morals and values, focusing on enjoying the experience of playing — will translate into success on and off the field.