Law enforcement officials across the country attend the funeral of Private James Monda in Schenectady

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SCHENECTADY – Hundreds of law enforcement officers – from as far away as New Mexico – and dignitaries flocked to Schenectady on Monday for the grimest of occasions: funeral services for the soldier’s death in service of New York State James Monda.

An 18-year-old state police veteran who lived in Rotterdam Junction, Monda was 45.

“A day like today is just a sad day for us as an organization, besides the obvious, which is a sad day for his family,” New York Sstate police commissioner Kevin P. Bruen told reporters outside St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady, where Monda’s services were held.

Monda, a member of a Marine Patrol with G Troop from Princetown, died on August 22 while working in a marine crew on the Grand Lac Sacandaga. For reasons that are still under investigation, Monda entered the water with scuba gear at the boat launch and did not resurface.

Monda was in the water on Bunker Hill Road in Northampton around 4 p.m. and was removed from the water after he failed to resurface. The 1993 Mohonasen High School graduate was pronounced dead at Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville.

Speaking of the dangers of the profession, Bruen said: “all soldiers, and especially their families, know that when you go to work you may not come back. “

The state soldiers, lined up on Union Street outside the place of worship in about 12 rows, stood at ease. Governor Kathy Hochul stood out as she stood in the front row in black among a sea of ​​soldiers in gray uniforms.

The church can accommodate 800 people and was almost full, according to a state police spokesperson.

Law enforcement across the country, including Michigan State Police and New Mexico State Police, were present, the spokesperson said.

“To have so many people come from all over the country, literally, to show our support for them, as we have done for them and will continue to do, it means a lot to all of us,” said the police major of the New York State Christopher West, the commander of G Troop who worked closely with Monda.

Media representatives were not allowed inside the church, but West and Bruen spoke outside, remembering Monda’s work ethic and willingness to help fellow colleagues, even for personal matters outside of business hours, and his sense of humor.

West called Monda a great guy.

“He was a hard worker. We selected him for a number of special details because of that work ethic he had, ”West said, mentioning Monda’s special assignments, such as the State Fair, and as a ATV operator and short rifle member, in addition to the marine unit.

“When a state police supervisor describes someone as a worker,” Bruen added, “it may sound like some kind of weak praise. But it’s actually a really nice compliment. way of saying he’s someone you can rely on in a difficult situation, who is there all the time.

Monda, according to West, was respected and was a major member of Princetown Station. He was admired by many.

West stated that one of Monda’s station comrades remembered Monda as “a guy you could go to not just because he was a senior member of the station, but just because he was that person who would help you with any kind of chores or things you needed at home, or personal items.

“And he was a joker too, and well liked and got along with everyone,” West said.

To the Collective pain the organization was going through, West said, “We’re all in pain right now. But we also realize that we have an obligation to make sure that we give it the good start it deserves, and that we rally with each other and will show off. we are doing the right thing.

Monda attended SUNY Schenectady Community College and received her BA in Criminal Justice from SUNY Albany in 1998.

Prior to joining the State Police in 2003, he was acCorrections Officer at Ulster County Correctional Facility.

According to his obituary, he loved hunting, fishing, mountain biking or whatever went on outside and loved his cat, Max or any animal that crossed his path.

He leaves his fiancee, Teresa Kepler of Rotterdam; mother, Joan Monda of Rotterdam Junction; Father James A. Monda of Rotterdam; sister, Jill Petitti of Rotterdam and brother Anthony Monda of Florida.

In their obituary, the family requested memorial donations to the Animal Protective Foundation, 53 Maple Ave., Glenville, NY, 12302.

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