BATAVIA — The 20 New York State Police Troop A personnel who died in the line of duty were in the troop’s thoughts this week during an annual memorial service Tuesday.

“These are the heroes. These are the people that came, stepped in and did what had to be done and we will not forget them for that,” said Troop A Public Information Officer James O’Callaghan said.

Troop A Memorial Service in Batavia on Tuesday May 23, 2023.

Law enforcement and civilian employees for Troop A joined State Police leaders in front of the barracks for the observance.

Major Eugene Staniszewski said the proud tradition of honoring State Police personnel who have lost their lives in the line of duty continues.

“Several of our fallen troopers’ family members are with us today. We welcome you and thank you for joining us today,” he said. “Each of you has traveled a long and difficult journey.”

Staniszewski thanked the law enforcement personnel who took the time to be there Tuesday. This was the 41st time Troop A held the ceremony.

“Troop A gathers to honor the members whose names are carved on the monument behind me and on the 9/11 Memorial inside troop headquarters,” he said. “We scheduled this ceremony chose to May 15 because that is the day President John F. Kennedy designated as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Joining together, we show our appreciation and recognition that our safety and our freedom are bought at a price.”

Troop A wants to let the families of personnel who have died know that it will not forget the service their loved ones have given.

“These members and their families will always be part of the New York State Police family,” Stanizewski said. “While we still mourn their absence, we celebrate the devotion of public service and the sacrifice they made to keep us safe. As we set today aside to think about our police officers, let us be mindful that we should do this every day, not just one.”

The State Police members who were honored Tuesday willingly joined a profession that is inherently dangerous.

“In turn, we are eternally dedicated to them, to their selfless sacrifice helped to make the world a better and safer place.

The family of Trooper Ross Riley, who died in 2011, attended Tuesday’s ceremony, as did the family of Trooper Kevin P. Dobson, who died a couple of years before him.

“It takes a strong family for law enforcement officers to be able to do this job,” Staniszewski said. “It’s not only a commitment by them, it’s a commitment by their families for the services that they do, the sacrifices the families have to make so these members can perform their jobs. It’s very important for us to see them and stay in contact with them during the year ... to let them know that we still remember and support them, and that we’ll never forget their loved ones.”

Afterwards, Staniszewski said this is a very important ceremony at this time of year to Troop A.

“It’s very important to the families that we show the respect for the sacrifice that these members made in service to the state of New York,” he said.

The following personnel, listed with their zone, barracks and date of death, died in the line of duty:

n Trooper James B. Losco, Zone 2, SP Wanakah, July 7, 1925;

n Trooper Arnold T. Rasmussen, Zone 1, SP Batavia, Sept. 8, 1927;

n Trooper Robert J. Roy, Zone 4, Sept. 8, 1927;

n Sgt. Homer J. Harrison, Zone 2, SP Castile, June 19, 1933;

n Trooper Thomas L. Corbett, Zone 1, SP Batavia, Aug. 13, 1933;

n Trooper Jerome B. Nugent, Zone 3, SP Sheridan, Oct. 13, 1933;

n Cpl. Earl R. Wilkinson, Zone 1, SP Batavia BCI, May 24, 1942’

n Sgt. Harry A. Adams, Zone 1, SP Albion, Sept. 1, 1951;

n Trooper James D. Conrad, Zone 4, SP Bath. Nov. 11, 1966;

n Trooper Richard L. Weltz, Zone 2, SP Athol Springs, March 17, 1970;

n Investigator Thomas L. Buck, Zone 3, SP Fredonia. March 19, 1981;

n Trooper Gary E. Kubasiak, Zone 3, SP Gowanda. Aug. 30, 1982;

n Trooper Kevin P. Dobson, Zone 2, SP Clarence. March 26, 2011;

n Trooper William P. Keane, SP Batavia, Aug. 23, 2013;

n Trooper Ross M. Riley, Troop H, Special Operations Rescue Team. Nov. 20, 2013;

n Trooper Joseph J. Mecca Jr., Zone 4, SP Olean. Dec. 2, 2020;

n Trooper Jennifer M. Czarnecki, Zone 2, SP Boston. Dec. 5, 2020.

There were also five members of the Troop “A” region who valiantly gave their lives in performance of duty:

n Trooper Brian N. Rovnak, Troop K, Feb. 2, 1983;

n Trooper Joseph A. Longobardo, Troop G, Mobile Response Team, Sept. 1, 2006;

n Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff, Mobile Response Team, April 25, 2007;

n Trooper Jill E. Mattice, Troop C, SP Oneonta. Jan. 20, 2010;

n Trooper Joseph J. Gallagher, Troop L, SP Brentwood. March 26, 2021

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