Master Patrol Officer Jay VanVolkinburg, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday night, as the result of a heart attack, an Intercom announcement said. Posted Thursday on behalf of Terri Stewart, director for public safety and emergency management, the announcement stated VanVolkinburg was off duty when he passed away.
VanVolkinburg was a member of the Ithaca Police Department from 1989 to 2010 and had been with Ithaca College since March 2011. He was 51 years old.
David Dray, assistant director and deputy chief of Public Safety and Emergency Management said the death of his colleague affects the college as well as the city of Ithaca.
“It is a tragedy and it’s something that’s felt in the law enforcement community both here at the college and the city of Ithaca because he had worked with them for a number of years and had retired, so this is something that hits close to home to all of us,” Dray said.
VanVolkinburg was the recipient of the Frank G. Hammer Kiwanis Officer of the Month Award and American Red Cross of Tompkins and Cortland County Real Heroes Award “for his life-saving efforts in responding to a student who had overdosed on prescription medication,” the announcement said.
The IPD broke the news on their Facebook page Thursday night calling attention to VanVolkinburg’s dedication to the citizens of Ithaca and students of the college for more than two decades.
“Jay was a consummate professional at all times, and his hard work and dedication to his craft will be sorely missed in the Ithaca community,” the IPD said on their Facebook page. “More than that, though, Jay’s smile and charismatic charm will be missed each and every day. May you rest in peace, Jay, and God bless your wonderful spirit.”
The Intercom announcement said the calling hours for VanVolkinburg will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 26 at Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg, N.Y. 14886. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Aug. 27 at St. James Catholic Church, 17 Whig St., Trumansburg, N.Y. 14886.