ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — To recognize troopers and honor the fallen, the New York State Police held its annual Memorial and Awards Ceremonies on Thursday in Albany.

At the 45th annual awards ceremony, New York State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen commended and recognized 20 individuals and one Division unit. This awards ceremony followed the State Police’s annual Memorial Day Service and honored four deceased members of the New York State Police.

The fallen that were honored were Sergeant and Station Commander Jeffrey M. Cicora, Investigator Ryan Fortini, Trooper Jennifer M. Czarnecki, and Trooper Joseph J. Gallagher.

In memorial, State Police noted that Sergeant Cicora passed away on August 19, 2019, from an illness stemming from his assignment at the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.

Investigator Ryan Fortini died from cancer stemming from his 9/11 assignment on January 1, 2021.

Trooper Czarnecki passed away from an illness stemming from her assignment to the World Trade Center site following 9/11 attacks on December 5, 2020.

Trooper Gallagher died on March 26, 2021, three years after being struck by a distracted driver.

“Every day, the men and women of the State Police perform selfless acts of courage, heroism and bravery. Our troopers are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all New Yorkers,” stated Acting Superintendent Bruen. “At the same time, the civilian employees of the State Police are dedicated and committed to public service, demonstrating outstanding qualities daily.  Today we recognize those troopers and employees who have shown an extraordinary commitment to the people of the State of New York.”

Following the Memorial Day Service, the following awards were presented by the New York State Police:

Brummer Award- Highest Award for Heroism

  • Investigator Michael C. Grogan, Troop NYC
  • Investigator Brandon M. Levanduski, Troop NYC

Superintendent’s Commendation Awards

  • Trooper Adam P. Duquette, Troop B
  • Trooper Christopher L. Markwica, Troop B
  • Zone Sergeant Jason A. Cawley, Troop C
  • Investigator Justin H. Wilt, Troop C
  • Trooper Gary M. Novotny, Troop D
  • Trooper Matthew J. McKinney, Troop E
  • Trooper Nicole C. Claus, Troop G
  • Trooper Robert R. Turnbull, Troop T
  • Trooper Erik Lippassaar, Troop T
  • Trooper Michael S. Crosier – Troop E
  • Trooper Brian J. Brass – Special Operations Response Team-West
  • Trooper Shaun P. Fallon – Special Operations Response Team-West
  • Trooper Joshua A. Jones – Special Operations Response Team-West

Trooper Kevin P. Dobson Traffic Safety Award

  • Trooper Christopher J. Esposito, Troop G

George M. Searle Memorial Award

  • Technical Sergeant Ronald S. Cardis, Jr., Academy

Trooper William V. McDonagh Award

  • Trooper Ryan F. Holohan – Troop G

Superintendent’s Unit Citation Award

  • Mobile Field Unit

Supervisor Recognition Award

  • Senior Investigator Stephen M. Hikade – Troop F Major Crimes
  • Tracy L. Beckett – Project Manager III

Civilian Employee Recognition Award

  • Marco A. Alvarado- Aircraft Mechanic

All awards and honors were announced by New York State Police on May 6, 2021.