Friends and family honor memory of fallen officer
Times Herald Record, October 4, 1998

TUXEDO PARK A stiff autumn wind carried the mournful notes of "Amazing Grace" from the arms of a solitary bagpiper into a gray afternoon sky as family, friends and fellow police officers remembered Jason D. Conklin, a rookie cop who died in the line of duty last August. They gathered yesterday around a large gray stone, a simple memorial created among the grass and trees just behind the police station where Conklin worked. "You will never be forgotten," read part of the inscription. Conklin Tuxedo Park police shield number 957 died at the age of 22. At the time of his death, Conklin was apparently chasing a speeder in the department's Ford Expedition, a sport utility vehicle. The truck overturned on a curve, and Conklin was thrown out the open driver's side window. The 6,200 pound truck rolled on top of ! ! him. Conklin's death stunned fellow officers in this small department, a force that patrols an upscale village of about 1,000 people who live in homes clustered around a private lake. Waves of sympathy poured in from the law enforcement community following Conklin's death. Yesterday, uniformed and non-uniformed officers lined up shoulder-to-shoulder and saluted Conklin once again. Tuxedo Park Police Chief Bill Bortnowsky stood silently behind a podium as family and friends placed flowers on the stone memorial. Those flowers and wreaths served as a fragile, but visible reminder of something Chief Bortnowsky had said just moments before: "His memory will always be carried in the hearts of those who honor him today."