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Widow Of Fallen Officer Rafael Ramos Starts Foundation In His Name

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It was a year ago this Sunday when two city cops were murdered in cold blood in Brooklyn.

Now, Maritza Ramos, the widow of fallen Officer Rafael Ramos, is starting a foundation to preserve her husband's legacy.

'Why not take the opportunity to start something great and help the community," Ramos told WCBS 880's Peter Haskell.

Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead as they sat in their marked patrol car at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in December 2014.

Officer has just celebrated his 40th birthday only a few weeks before. Liu was 32.

Both the NYPD and FDNY showed solidarity with the fallen officers, and thousands attended Ramos' funeral, held at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, Queens shortly after he was killed. 

In April, the Tunnel to Towers foundation reached out to the families of the officers, raising more than $1 million to help pay off the mortgages on Liu's and Ramos' homes. The Brooklyn streets where the officers called home were also renamed in their honor.

In the face of devastating loss, Maritza Ramos saw goodness.

"So many people that showed support and I felt like if I can just do a little of what they've done to just give back," Ramos said.

The goal of the foundation is to bridge the divide in the law enforcement community, and to help families of the fallen, 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera reported.

Ramos believes a few 'bad apples' has given cops a bad reputation and hopes her foundation will help shine light on good police officers.

"We need to refocus on who police officers are and what it is they're trying to do."

For Ramos, it's also a way to help channel her grief.

"You know, one day at a time," Ramos said.

The Detective Rafael Ramos Foundation will kick off with a fundraising event at Irving Plaza on January 28.

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