State of New York Police Officers Memorial Honors Fallen Hero Ross M. Riley

Catharine Young

May 06, 2014

For Release: Immediate, May 6, 2014

New York State Trooper Ross M. Riley Remembered

ALBANY - At the State of New York Police Officers Memorial today, Senator Young joined in honoring  New York’s brave police officers who in the last year made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in the line of duty.

“The 20 policemen and policewomen  we lost over the last year are truly heroes who we too often take for granted. It’s not until days like today or when tragedy strikes that we fully appreciate all that they do for us. We remember all of those who have given their lives to protect and serve us, especially Trooper Ross Riley, who we lost far too soon in an accident on November 20, 2013. To Trooper Riley’s wife, Heidi, and their three beautiful daughters, I offer my heartfelt prayers, thanks, and support as they continue to deal with the irreplaceable loss of their husband and father,” said Senator Young.

Trooper Ross Riley, a Marine Corps combat veteran who lived in Allegany with his family, was doing high-angle rescue training in Letchworth State Park when he fell to his death last November.

Trooper Riley was a decorated state trooper and member of the elite Special Operations Response Team (SORT), a tactical response group of highly trained and skilled experts who respond to critical events, disasters, and emergencies.

To honor the brave service of police officers like Trooper Riley, the establishment of the State of New York Police Officers Memorial began in 1989. In January of 1989  legislation was enacted authorizing the Commissioner of the Office of General Services (OGS) to construct “a monument, tablet, or memorial…honoring and properly reflecting the duty, dignity, and devotion of the police officers of New York State who are slain in the line of duty.”

The memorial is located at the Empire State Plaza in Albany and includes a fountain and pool with a curved wall of names etched in granite. Next to each of the names of fallen police officers is the department they served with and their date of death. Also displayed in a granite wall is a quotation from Colleen Dillon Bergman, the daughter of slain New York State Trooper Emerson J. Dillon, Jr.:

“It doesn’t matter from which department they came, the feeling of loss is experienced the same.”

For more information on the memorial, please visit: