August 19, 2019
Statement From Congressman Tom Reed, State Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:
The family of New York State Trooper Nicholas F. Clark of Canisteo today joined members of the New York State Police, U.S. Representative Tom Reed (R-NY), State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, and other area officials at a ceremony to officially designate the “Trooper Nicholas F. Clark Memorial Bridge.”
O’Mara and Palmesano introduced and sponsored this year’s legislation (S5484/A7577, Chapter 111 of the Laws of 2019) authorizing the designation. Under the new law, the bridges on I-86 where the highway crosses State Route 415 received the designation. This section of the highway is located less than a half mile north of the State Police Barracks (Troop E, Zone 3) in Bath, where Clark was stationed at the time of his death.
The area lawmakers said they sponsored the legislation to honor Clark’s memory, and pay tribute to his life and service. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed their legislation into law on July 24, 2019, a little over one year after Clark was killed in the line of duty during a confrontation in the town of Erwin on July 2, 2018. Clark was 29 years old and had been a New York State Trooper for three years.
This afternoon’s ceremony took place at the Bath barracks and included an unveiling of the new signage. Reed, O’Mara and Palmesano joined Clark’s parents, Theresa and Anthony, and other family members, Trooper E Commander Eric L. Laughton and other State Troopers, state Department of Transportation (DOT) Region 6 Director Brian Kelly, and other area officials at the event.
In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “Trooper Nicholas Clark was a hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. It is our hope that this action will stand as a lasting tribute and testament to his remarkable life and service. We hope that it will help to express the collective respect of our local community, our entire region, and the State of New York. We envision the ‘Trooper Nicholas F. Clark Memorial Bridge’ as an enduring honor to Trooper Clark, and a reminder to future generations of his meaningful life. The naming of this bridge adjacent to the Trooper Barracks where he was stationed is an important way to ensure that Nick’s service and sacrifice will always be remembered.”
Congressman Reed said, “The passing of Trooper Clark resonated across the state and hit not only close to home, but to my heart. I am proud to stand here today with my state colleagues who advocated fiercely to have this bridge dedicated in Trooper Clark’s memory and service to our communities. We hope this bridge will serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by law enforcement officers to ensure we all stay safe.”
Clark was born and raised in the Canisteo Valley. He graduated from Canisteo-Greenwood High School in 2006 and from Alfred University in 2011. A stellar athlete, he was a New York State high school wrestling champion, and a four-year starter and All-Conference outside linebacker for the Alfred Saxons, where he set school records in tackles and earned a tryout with the Buffalo Bills.
He graduated from the State Police Academy in 2015. Following graduation, he was stationed in Ithaca and Auburn before transferring to the Bath barracks.