Senator Kennedy Presents NYS Senate Liberty Medal to Family of Lt. Craig Lehner


Six Months After  Buffalo Police Department Lt. Craig Lehner Died During a Police Training Exercise, Kennedy and Colleagues Honor His Service to Our Country & Community on Senate Floor

Kennedy Invites Lt. Lehner’s Mother and Sister to Albany, Paying Tribute to Officer’s Legacy with Senate Resolution and NY Senate’s Highest Civilian Honor 

ALBANY, N.Y. – The family of Buffalo Police Department Lt. Craig Lehner joined Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) in Albany Monday as he paid tribute to the fallen officer’s years of selfless service. Remembering Lt. Lehner as a fearless patriot and an admired friend and leader, Kennedy presented Lehner’s mother, Kathy, and his sister, Donna Wilson, with the NYS Liberty Medal, the state Senate’s highest civilian honor, and thanked them for sharing Craig with Buffalo and the world. Kennedy also introduced a resolution on Lt. Lehner’s behalf, commending his service at the BPD as well as the Army National Guard, and praising his dedication to putting others first. 

“Lt. Craig Lehner was as selfless as they come - always eager to do one thing in life: help people,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “In his short time with us, he chose to bravely serve his country and his community, and firmly believed in uplifting and encouraging those around him. Those who knew him best, like his partner and friend Tommy Champion, will tell you he wasn’t just working a job; he was using his life to try and make an impact, and make the world a better place. With this Liberty Medal, New York State mourns his passing, we honor his legacy, and we celebrate his love of life.”

A nine-year veteran of the BPD, Lt. Lehner tragically lost his life while conducting an underwater training exercise in the Niagara River in October.