The New York State Police are mourning the loss of one of their own. A New Hartford native and 27-year veteran of the department has passed away at the age of 57 from an illness related to his assignment at Ground Zero following the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City.

Photo Courtesy of The New York State Police
Photo Courtesy of The New York State Police

Trooper Robert M. Burney joined the New York State Police on March 20th, 1989. He served for several years and retired while assigned to Troop D in Oneida on January 2nd, 2017.

Remembering Trooper Burney

According to his obituary, Burney was tasked with search and rescue efforts in New York City following the attack on the Twin Towers. Throughout his career, Burney also assisted with State Police details during Hurricane Katrina relief in New Orleans and Hurricane Sandy relief. He also assisted with security for the New York State Fair.

Burney also had a great love of the outdoors, particularly in Old Forge, NY. As a young man he spent several years working at Keyes Pancake house and was an active member of Thendara Golf Club from 2017 to 2021.

His obituary also states,

He was a member of the Covey-Pashley American Legion Post #893 and the Old Forge Knights of Columbus. In his free time, Bob enjoyed playing golf and hockey, where he participated in many benefit games for both sports. He also looked forward to traveling to Florida to enjoy the Daytona 500, as well as spending time in New Smyrna Beach.

According to the Acting New York State Police Superintendent Dominick L. Chiumento, Burney died as a result of cancer he contracted due to his role in the response to 9/11.

He is tragically not the only one.

New York State Police car with NYSP logo Photo Credit: Benjamin Furner, WIBX/Townsquare Media
New York State Police car with NYSP logo Photo Credit: Benjamin Furner, WIBX/Townsquare Media

As of September 25th, 2023, the number of first responders who have died from 9/11 related illnesses had matched and exceeded the amount of souls lost on that fateful day.

That is why it is imperative to never forget the events that took place on that September morning in 2001.

Please keep Trooper Burney, his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

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