Officer Arthur Lopez will be remembered forever in Nassau County, but Massapequa School Board member Joseph LaBella remembered slain officer Arthur Lopez as a man of character before he became a cop.
LaBella knew Lopez , who was gunned down Tuesday during a traffic stop on the Nassau-Queens border, from his days working at Computer Associates in Islandia nearly a decade ago.
The future Nassau Emergency Services Officer was a 21-year-old security guard working in the lobby.
"He was an officer for a short period of time," but he made an impression, Labella said.
LaBella said that Lopez was only with the company for a few months, before leaving to pursue his dream to be a police officer.
"We wrote him a wonderful recommendation," said the first term school board member.
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LaBella remembered the future hero cop as "being mature beyond his years."
"You wouldn't know he was 21," he said. "I found him to be an earnest upstanding man."
He also moved up the ladder quickly, being named officer month during his brief stint as a supervisor.
LaBella's partner Mario Doyle, who said he was Lopez' supervisor at the company said that he promoted the young man form security guard to shift supervisor.
"All he ever wanted to be was a cop," Doyle said. "What he achieved on the job, is a testament to the type of person he was."
Doyle pointed out that Lopez was assigned to the elite Emergency Services Unit by age 27.
"That's the unit police officers call when they get in trouble," he said. Doyle remembered Lopez as "a helpful young man with a good head on his shoulders."
"He knew he wanted to be a police officer and he knew he needed to take the high road in life."
Lopez did just that according to both men.
"He was the type of person I'd want to see become a police officer," LaBella said, while Doyle offered condolences to the slain officer's family saying, "we have another angel to watch over us."