Decorated Finest on anti-terror mission paralyzed, but he's still fighting. BY PATRICE O'SHAUGHNESSY DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Saturday, August 2nd 2008. Detective First Grade Terrence McGhee has never flinched at the most dangerous assignments in the NYPD, from taking guns and crack off the streets to tracking terrorists around the globe.
He pulled a slug out of his own stomach when he was shot in 1990, barely cheating death because his gunbelt had slowed the bullet's path. Now he is showing that same staunch courage as he lies partially paralyzed after nearly drowning while on a foreign assignment with the Joint Terrorist Task Force.
"I'm leaving this job the same way I came on - on my own two feet," McGhee, 48, has vowed.
The hero cop - one of the most decorated members of the NYPD - and former
Army 82nd Airborne paratrooper was injured on July 4 in Lisbon, Portugal.
McGhee has made some 40 trips overseas as part of the JTTF, which is made up of city detectives and FBI agents. He has been in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines as part of investigations since 9/11. Before being assigned to the elite unit, he worked in Bronx Homicide, the street crime unit, the 23rd Precinct detective squad and the 32nd Precinct in Harlem, anti-crime unit (Narcotics).
"Terry was the best cop I have ever seen, and he will be in the New York City Marathon again one way or another," said retired NYPD Inspector Kevin Perham, who commanded the 32nd Precinct squad when McGhee worked there.
Details of the accident cannot be disclosed for security reasons, but McGhee actually drowned and was revived. He suffered water damage to his lungs and a spinal injury, shattering the C7 vertebra and dislocating the T1 vertebra.
Once an avid runner of marathons and a boxer who trained New York Athletic Club members, he cannot move his legs.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is one of the many visitors who streamed to his hospital room. "If there's such a thing as a 'model officer,' he is that and much more," Kelly said. "The fight against terrorism took him overseas, where he has represented the NYPD in his usual outstanding manner. He is engaged now in a different kind of struggle for which he has our prayers and support always."
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2008 MEETING, Retired Detectives of the Police Dept. of the City of N.Y; I can summarize the November meeting in one word wonderful! Honoring two active Detectives Terrence McGhee and Clemente Sosa is what the RDNY is all about. Terrence and his wife Lori spent the entire evening reminiscing with old and new friends and in spite of his serious injury; he was in good spirits all night. A special thank you to the members of ESU that made it possible for Terry to attend and to our good friend Detective Brian Hunt who worked out the logistics. Clemente Sosa, with his family in attendance, humbly and graciously accepted our ARDY. Clemente with two tours of duty with the United States Navy completed in the Middle East and soon to be assigned to the NYPD Joint Terrorist Task Force, he is the future of the Detective Bureau and the RDNY. It was an honor to have him “on board” that night.
PORT OF LISBON, PORTUGAL, where Det. Terry McGhee was injured, is the gateway for drugs in Europe, especially coke from South America, Afghanistan for heroin (the Taliban) and Morocco for hash, all linked to the support of terrorism. The Moroccan Islamic Combattant Group (GICM) and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Algeria, has become Al-Qaeda’s North African branch running drugs into Lisbon Portugal and then into Europe in support of terrorism, cash flow.