ALBANY N.Y. - Law enforcement agencies across the state honored twenty police officers Tuesday, five of whom lost their lives in the line of duty last year, including ?Trooper David Cunniff? of Duanesburg.
Cunniff was a nine-year veteran of the New York State Police. He died of his injuries in December after his patrol car was hit by a tractor trailer during a traffic stop along the Thruway in Amsterdam.
"It's difficult to go to the station and not have Dave there. He had such an outgoing personality... Very funny,” said New York State Police Sgt. Brian Dollard.
Names of the fallen police officers, including those who died from Ground Zero related illnesses will also be added to the Police Officers' Memorial wall. The memorial is inscribed with the names of more than 1,300 police officers who died in the line of duty across the state.
“Thankfully it's been a while since we been through this in the City of Albany. But it brings us back to the days we remember very vividly of when we lost our loved ones in the City of Albany,” said Albany Police Chief Steven Krokoff.
For the past 28 years, the Albany Police Department has been honoring fallen police officers in New York State. On Tuesday morning, dozens of law enforcement and family members attended a memorial mass at St. Mary's Church. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger also came to show his support and met with the families and different police agencies.
“They're the ones that feel the lost the most. And to reassure them that our connections don't end with death. We see them as not having left behind us but as going ahead of us and we will look forward to the day when we will be reunited again,” said Bishop Scharfenberger.
“Twenty names are added this year. Twenty different stories of bravery and selflessness. The courage shown during those last few moments of their lives was not an unusual dent, but a daily one. Bravery and vigilance are constant traits of those who wear the badge,” said Dean Skelos, New York State Senate Majority Leader.
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