Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Sad Day

Today New York State Trooper Craig J. Todeschini was laid to rest. Trooper Todeschini was killed when his police vehicle crashed while chasing a speeding motorcyclist. The thousands that gathered in honor of his memory at the Holy Family RCC included family, friends and police officers from all over the country. I saw members of the Oklahoma and California Highway Patrol at the reception this afternoon and thanked them for their travel to honor a fallen brother.

Our police retirees association sent out emails Tuesday asking for volunteers to assist in providing food and beverages at the reception, which was held at the International Pavilion in the NYS Fairgrounds in Geddes. About fifteen of us showed up at noon. Another half dozen or so came in earlier around 10 am.

Eventually about a thousand people went through the doors for a rather good all-you-can-eat buffet of chicken, sausages, mashed potatoes, ziti, meatballs and salad. Most of the attendees were police officers.

I was assigned to bus tables but as many people cleaned up after themselves, I was not that busy. As is the case so often at funerals, it was a good time to visit and catch up on friends and associates I haven't seen in years. Most of the volunteers did not know Trooper Todeschini, but LE is a family affair and we tried to help his family by serving at his memorial.

I did not know Trooper Todeschini or his family. His father is a retired T/Geddes Police Sergeant and he retired several years before my time there. The T/Geddes PD was deeply affected by his loss as many of these officers watched Craig grow up and took pride in his career as a State Trooper. The Solvay VFD were particularly hard hit by his death, Trooper Todeschini was also a volunteer fireman. Craig was truly a man dedicated to his community and he will be sorely missed.

The motorcyclist that Trooper Todeschini was chasing will most likely be apprehended shortly. Onondaga County District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick will be making an announcement Friday regarding this investigation.

If I were that young man, I would move out of state after I got out of jail and never drive anything with less than six wheels.

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