Burlington, MA – Retired New York State Police Investigator Ryan Fortini died in the line of duty on Jan. 1, following a battle with cancer that developed after his service at the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001.
After terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, Investigator Fortini was part of the New York State Police detail that was sent to Ground Zero to assist with search and recovery efforts, the New York State Police said in press release.
During his career, he was assigned to Troop K and then he worked for the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team in the Hudson Valley.
Investigator Fortini retired in 2015 after the cancer that resulted from his time in the contaminated area around the fallen towers became too much for him to continue working in law enforcement, according to the state police.
He is survived by his fiancé, parents, and siblings.
“Investigator Fortini is a tremendous loss to our organization and to all who knew him,” New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett told the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Superintendent Corlett called the fallen investigator “a true hero.”
"When I picture him, I picture the smile he had on his face," New York State Police Captain David Atkins told the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Capt. Atkins served beside Investigator Fortini at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11.
He graduated from the New York State Police Academy with Investigator Fortini and remembered the fallen hero as always quick to respond to a call for help, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.
“I just remember, quite a few times, calling for assistance on the radio, urgently, in the middle of some physical altercation," Capt. Atkins said. "More than once, he was one of the first people who was always there. When we weren’t in a work environment, he was always smiling.”
Investigator Fortini was originally from Burlington and, after he died, the New York State Police gave him full honors as they assisted his family in returning him to Massachusetts for burial, MassLive reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York State Police Investigator Ryan Fortini, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Investigator Ryan Fortini, your life mattered.