Funeral services held for New York State Police Sgt. Jeffry Edelson

Funeral services held for New York State Police Sgt. Jeffry Edelson
PBA, 2003-11-26

Funeral services were held on Nov. 25 for Sgt. Jeffry Edelson, who was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 23. Fellow members of the New York State Police were joined by members from state police agencies in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as municipal police officers including members from the Nassau, Suffolk and Sullivan county sheriff’s departments, in paying tribute to Sgt. Edelson.

The State Troopers PBA mourns the loss of one of our hard-working, dedicated members. We send our heartfelt condolences to Sgt. Edelson’s family and friends.

Below are two stories printed in newspapers about Sgt. Edelson’s funeral. Please either click on the story links or refer to their text below.

Newsday (this link will also allow you to view photographs from the funeral service):,0,4102419.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines

By Denise M. Bonilla

November 26, 2003


Jeffry Edelson longed to return home. The state trooper had been living away from Long Island for more than six years, working in a small town in the Catskills, but hoping he could one day move closer to his family and the area where he grew up.

Yesterday, as hundreds of law enforcement officers stood raptly at attention outside his Woodbury funeral, the solemn moan of bagpipes ushered Edelson, 34, home to Long Island one last time. The former Hewlett resident was killed Sunday, when he lost control of his cruiser and crashed into a tree in Liberty, 90 miles northwest of New York City.

Officers from as far away as Vermont lined up outside Gutterman’s funeral home on Jericho Turnpike to pay homage to their fallen comrade. Attending the service was Gov. George Pataki who told mourners, "To serve the public is a grand calling, and Trooper Edelson felt that calling and he answered it . . . he wanted to help and he wanted to make the world better."

Edelson was answering a criminal mischief complaint Sunday at about 1:10 p.m. when a dark-colored pickup truck sped by in the other direction, police said. Edelson made a U-turn and tried to catch up to the truck, but lost control of his car on a downhill curve, police said. He crashed into a tree and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A graduate of Hewlett High School, Edelson received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He graduated from the New York State Police Academy in 1998 and spent most of his career with Troop F in Liberty. On Monday night, Edelson, who earlier this month passed the sergeant’s exam, was posthumously promoted. He is survived by his parents, Steven and Ellen Edelson, of Brookville, and a sister, Lynda, of New York City.

Rabbi Stanley Platek, who has known the family for 27 years, officiated at the service. Platek remembered Edelson as always having a gleam in his eye, a family man who was dedicated to being an officer.

"He was totally committed to what he was doing, it was very important to him," he said. "There was a sense of him wanting to make the roads and society safer."

Following the service, six of Edelson’s fellow troopers carried his coffin as his family, holding hands and sobbing, followed. Later, at the burial at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon, police helicopters passed overhead, followed by bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace." Several Suffolk County officers wept openly as Edelson’s family, clutching his trooper hat, was presented with the flag from his coffin.

Friends remembered Edelson as an adventurous man with a great sense of humor. Christina Gonzalez, 31, met Edelson six years ago when he began frequenting the Liberty Diner where she works as a waitress. A Long Island native herself, she quickly bonded with him.

"We used to talk about growing up in Long Island," she said. "He was really fun to be around, always laughing."

Family friend Stanley Weintraub, 68, of Island Park, said that as far back as high school, Edelson was dedicated to becoming a police officer. He said he had applied with local police departments, but they never seemed to be hiring when Edelson applied.

Tod Cagan, 34, of East Meadow, grew up with Edelson and said his friend loved music and recently bought a drum set, rekindling a passion that started in high school band. He said Edelson hoped to become an officer in Nassau County and be closer to his family.

"I’m at a loss for words," he said. "There was so much promise, so many future plans

Times Herald-Record of Middletown:

Tribute paid to trooper

   By Heather Yakin
   Times Herald-Record
   Woodbury – Being a cop was Jeff Edelson’s dream.
   It took a few tries: From 1992 to 1994, a knee injury sidelined him. Then he made the Civil Service list for the Suffolk County Police Department, but a court invalidated the list.
   Edelson tried the U.S. Marshals and then the old Immigration and Nationalization Services, but neither was hiring.
   Then he took the New York State Police entrance exam. By 1997, he was patrolling Sullivan County in a blue and gold cruiser, part of State Police Troop F.
   The dream ended Sunday on Route 55 near Liberty, the kind of winding country road Edelson loved patrolling to enforce traffic laws. He was 34.
   Yesterday, about 1,500 state troopers in dress grays and municipal cops in dress blues stood outside the Long Island funeral home where Edelson’s casket lay.
   Jericho Turnpike, the normally hectic four-lane highway running past Gutterman’s Memorial Chapel, was closed down for the funeral. The quiet was broken only by the footsteps of mourners walking to the funeral home and the distant dull roar of cars.
   The family, state police brass, Gov. George Pataki and troopers assigned to Sullivan County filled the funeral home. Outside, speakers broadcast the service to the rest of the crowd.
   Rabbi Stanley Platek, the Edelson family’s rabbi for the past 27 years, began the service. Around the time of the High Holy days, Platek said, Edelson confided that he was in line for a promotion.
   "He was promoted last night, posthumously," Platek said. "He was sweet and strong at the same time.Ø…ØHe cared about people, he loved his family, and he loved what he was doing."
   Edelson’s uncle, Steve Tannenbaum, spoke on behalf of the family.
   "When we think of Jeffry, we think of life. He loved life, and he celebrated it to the hilt," Tannenbaum said. "As my grandchildren said, Jeffry was fun."
   Tannenbaum saw Edelson’s trooper academy graduation. "He beamed," Tannenbaum remembered. "He showed me around like he owned the place."
   Edelson dreamed of owning a house some day, one big enough for the whole family at holidays and birthdays. Tannenbaum’s voice broke as he described this.
   Gov. Pataki addressed Edelson’s parents, sister and girlfriend.
   "Steve and Ellen, you’ve lost a son," he began. "Lynda, you’ve lost a brother. Shana, you’ve lost a special friend."
   "Sgt. Edelson died on duty, and he died serving New Yorkers. He died a hero."
   State police Superintendent Wayne Bennett read the comments Edelson’s friends and family gave during the background check done for each trooper recruit.
   "He’s a good kid."
   "You guys are getting a good one."
   "This is something he really wants to do."
   "He’ll be a good cop."
   Edelson was a good cop, said Capt. Pat Regan, who commands Troop F’s Sullivan County zone. The two men shared a wry, dry sense of humor.
   "It was obvious Jeff was going to let me know who he was, regardless of who I was," Regan said, drawing chuckles from the crowd. "He really loved the job. He loved being a state trooper. He loved writing tickets, and we put him on the traffic task force."
   "He was somebody who made me look forward to coming to work," Regan said.
   After the service, state police pallbearers carried the casket slowly out of the funeral home. Six troopers hoisted the casket onto their shoulders. Bagpipers played as they carried the flag-draped coffin to the hearse.
   In unison, 1,500 troopers and cops saluted.