Wake services held for NYPD 9/11 responder from Bethpage

Family and friends gathered Thursday night to remember an NYPD officer from Bethpage who died from a 9/11-related illness. Officer Michael Hance was described by


NYPD Officer Michael Hance, 44, of Bethpage, was a first responder at the World Trade Center and a 17 year veteran of the department.

NYPD Officer Michael Hance, 44, of Bethpage, was a first responder at the World Trade Center and a 17 year veteran of the department. (3/16/17)

BETHPAGE - Family and friends gathered Thursday night to remember an NYPD officer from Bethpage who died from a 9/11-related illness.

Officer Michael Hance was described by his brother Peter as an "exciting person" who liked to be the center of attention.

That was definitely apparent when the Bethpage native was filmed dancing in uniform with a reveler at a gay pride parade in 2015. Peter Hance says not everyone at the NYPD approved of his brother's behavior, but it showed the lengths he would go to connect with the community – especially during a time of anti-police sentiment.

"He showed that the police department isn't bad," said Peter Hance.

Last November, Officer Hance was diagnosed with brain cancer. He fought the disease, but it spread to his lungs and liver. His brother says the disease was the result of the time he spent at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

Wake services will continue Friday at the Arthur White Funeral Home in Bethpage. The funeral is Saturday at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.

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