Ronald F. Hojnacki, 79, Pulaski

PULASKI, NY —  Ronald F. Hojnacki, 79, a retired member of the New York State Police, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

The funeral mass will be noon Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, at Christ Our Light Catholic Church, 23 Niagara St., Pulaski, NY, with Rev. James Schultz officiating. Visitation will precede the mass beginning at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 2401 Court St., Syracuse.

He is survived by three cousins Catherine Hubbard, Belleville, Mary Ann Colman, Rodman and Michael (Connie) Russell, Baldwinsville, NY.

Ronald grew up in the Pulaski, NY area and graduated from Pulaski Academy High School in 1958, after which he enlisted in the United States Air Force at age 17.  After serving in the USAF and the New York Air National Guard, he joined the NY Army National Guard, graduating from the US Army Flight School as a helicopter pilot and Warrant officer during the Vietnam era.

He was appointed to the New York State Troopers on June 10, 1954 and was promoted through the ranks to Sergeant and Senior Investigator/Unit Supervisor.  While in uniform, he was a SCUBA diver and State Police Academy counselor.  After his promotion to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, he became an Academy instructor and hostage negotiator.

Ronald completed the New York City Police Departments Emergency Services Unit training course and was the Unit Supervisor of the first New York State Police Violent Felony Warrant Squad to work out of the NYPD 50th Precinct.  He was later assigned to the NYC DEA Joint Task Force and the elite “REDRUM” unit which investigates homicides associated to international drug cartels.

Ronald held a BS degree in criminal justice from Empire College (SUNY) and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Long Island University.  He was the recipient of the prestigious “General MacArthur Distinguished Service Award” from the NYSP Alumni Association for supervising a high-risk police street enforcement unit in NYC, which was responsible for the arrest of numerous felons.

Trooper Hojnacki retired on Jan. 1, 2001, after 35 years plus of sworn police service, returning to duty 10 months later due to the 911 crisis and served an additional 3 plus years.  On Oct. 16, 2005, returned to civilian life and moved to his home near Pulaski, NY.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pulaski Central School for a scholarship to be established in his name.

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