Retired NYPD Sergeant Surprises His Officer Girlfriend with Proposal Inside Commissioner's Office

"I've told Henry in the past that he doesn't often think outside the box... He proved me wrong in the biggest and most beautiful way," Officer Shaundel Seymour tells PEOPLE

nypd proposal
Police Officer Shaundel Seymour, retired sergeant Henry Chernyavsky, and Commissioner Shea. Photo: NYPD

She said yes!

It was a very happy day for one New York City police officer after she received a surprise proposal from her retired sergeant boyfriend — with the help of the NYPD Commissioner.

Commissioner Dermot F. Shea announced the exciting news in a post on Twitter Wednesday alongside a video of the sweet moment inside his office.

"When you think you're going to the PC's office to receive an award, but you leave with a diamond ring & calling your retired-sergeant-boyfriend — your 'fiancée!' " Shea wrote above the clip. "Join us in congratulating Shaundel & Henry — we're wishing them both the very best!"

Speaking to PEOPLE, Police Officer Shaundel Seymour, who works in the Licensing Division, and retired sergeant Henry Chernyavsky, say they are both on cloud nine after the proposal.

"We have gotten such great love and support from everyone. They are happy to see a love story involving the NYPD," the couple says. "We don't often get to see a softer side of the NYPD showing that we love and want to be loved just like anyone else."

Seymour and Chernyavsky say they met at a work-related event over five years ago. The pair were instantly attracted to each other, with Chernyavsky saying he was intrigued by Seymour's beauty while Seymour loved Chernyavsky's personality.

For the last few years, the duo had been happily dating — that is until Chernyavsky felt ready to take their relationship to the next step.

"One of my main goals was to surprise her, so I hadn't told anyone besides the people that were a part of it," Chernyavsky explains of the proposal. "I am grateful that Police Commissioner Shea was able to help me propose to the love of my life."

nypd proposal
Police Officer Shaundel Seymour and retired sergeant Henry Chernyavsky. NYPD

As shown in the heartwarming video, Chernyavsky arranged for an unsuspecting Seymour to be called into Shea's office.

"I wasn't nervous going to the Commissioner's office because I was told that someone wrote a letter thanking me for being helpful and nice so in my head, it was for something good," she explains.

While there, Shea presented Seymour with several appreciation gifts, including a coin and a black ring box. As she was handed each item, Chernyavsky tip-toed into the room and quietly got down on one knee behind her.

nypd proposal
Police Officer Shaundel Seymour with her new ring. NYPD

"When I opened the box and saw a big diamond, I thought to myself, 'Wow, I must have been really helpful to this person,' " Seymour recalls. "Then the very next second, I realized I recognized the band. My dad's side of the family are jewelers and made the original ring for my mother."

"That's when it hit me that this was my proposal but because I had not yet seen Henry and I was standing in the Police Commissioner's office, I was still a bit confused," she continues. "I guess the Police Commissioner saw the confusion on my face and told me to turn around, and the rest is history."

As seen in the clip, Seymour was incredibly shocked to find Chernyavsky waiting on one knee. She broke down in tears before embracing Chernyavsky in a long hug as people in the room clapped for them.

"I've told him in the past that he doesn't often think outside the box. Well, I can't say that anymore," she jokes. "He proved me wrong in the biggest and most beautiful way."

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"Once I knew that everything was in place, I was feeling confident but also a bit nervous," Chernyavsky adds. "I'll always remember how great everything went and how happy I was to truly surprise her."

Now happily engaged, the couple says they are focused on living in the present.

"We want to enjoy this moment and will plan the marriage in the future," they say, adding that they want people to know, "Love prevails."

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