Ryan D. Fortini died on New Year's Day at age 42, according to state police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.
"Investigator Fortini is a tremendous loss to our organization and to all who knew him," Corlett said in a prepared statement. "A true hero, he gave his life by doing a job he loved, a job he did well, by protecting the citizens of New York state."
Fortini was part of the state police search-and-rescue detail in lower Manhattan after the World Trade Center towers were brought down by hijacked jets on 9/11, killing nearly 3,000 people.
Fortini retired in Jul... 2015, after 16 years of service, because of his worsening health, Corlett said. Trooper A.J. Hicks, the public information officer for Troop K, said Fortini was living out of state at the time of his death.
Besides being assigned to state police Troop K — which is based in the Dutchess County town of Millbrook and comprises Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties — Fortini worked with the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) in the Hudson Valley.
Hicks said Fortini trained in Columbia County, worked as a trooper in Westchester County, was an investigator in southern Dutchess County, and then joined CNET.
Fortini grew up in Massachusetts. He is survived by his fiancée, his parents, and a brother and sister.
Fortini's Facebook page, on which the cover photo shows the smoldering wreckage at ground zero, says he went to high school in Burlington, Mass., and college at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.
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