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Statement 350 Center Console Pays Tribute To New York City Blue

For the three days following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, New York City Police Department officer John Failla, who lived in Long Island at the time, never left the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center towers. Before exiting the department in 2005 he had been promoted to captain, but he wanted to work a lot closer to his home in Long Island so he joined the Nassau County Police Department.

Said former New York City police officer John Failla of his new Statement 350 center console, “I couldn’t imagine it being done any better.”

Three years later while Failla was on patrol one night, a drunk driver plowed into his squad car and he was taken to a local hospital. There doctors found what at first appeared to be a benign tumor on Failla’s spine. It turned out to be Chordoma, a rare form of often-lethal spinal cancer that several of his fellow officers also contracted following their exposure to the toxic environment they experienced while searching for survivors of the September 11 attacks.

“If that drunk driver hadn’t hit me, I wouldn’t be here today,” Failla said, then chuckled.

Though Failla, now 51 years old, survived his battle with the disease, it left him with long-term complications that included loss of balance and progressively weakening shoulders. He officially retired from the Nassau County Police Department in 2019 and he and his wife, Tamara, who have five children between them, moved to Southwest Florida where he met Nick Buis, the owner of Clearwater-headquartered Statement Marine.

The two men first connected through a real estate deal—Buis sold the couple a house he owned on Treasure Island—and became fast friends.

“Where I was from, center consoles like Nick builds are ‘fishing boats’ so instead I bought a 35-foot Fountain,” Failla explained. “Worst mistake I ever made—you use your boat 12 months a year down here and the inboards were nothing but problems.

“So when I was able to afford something, I sat down with Nick, picked out colors and said, ‘I want you to build me a center console,'” he continued. “All I told him was that I wanted an NYPD badge somehow worked into the graphics. It didn’t have to be a big deal.”

Failla settled on a Statement 350 center console powered by triple Mercury Racing V-10 400R outboard engines. But Buis, who wanted to honor the service of his friend, had a few ideas of his own for the 35-footer’s graphics. So he reached out to Tamara Failla.

“I asked her, ‘Listen, do you trust me?’” Buis recalled. “She said yes. So I told her I was going to do something really special for John.”

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The next-level detail of the 35-foot Statement is on display in the slideshow above.

Buis informed Failla that he was going to take graphics matters into his own hands.

“He told, ‘I want do something special for you but you can’t see it until it’s done,’” John Failla said. “I said, ‘I trust you, do whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be a big deal.’”

Fineline Marine Interiors of Hallandale Beach, Fla., handled the boat’s color-matched seating and Chad Shutter of BRP Marine Custom in Denver, N.C., helped design the graphics.

“And Jason (France) and the crew at Renovation did an incredible job with the paintwork,” Buis said.

One week ago today, the couple saw their new center console for the first time.

“I had no idea what to expect,” the former New York City police officer said, then laughed hard. “I said to Nick, ‘Well, at least you painted the bottom black like I wanted.”

Failla paused for a moment before coming back to the story.

“I couldn’t even speak,” he said softly. “I got all choked up. What they did with the New York City skyline and the World Trade Center—I couldn’t imagine it being done any better.”

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