NFTA Transporter

Friday, November 18, 2011

Officer Michael Insalaco



NFTA Transit Police Officer Michael Insalaco died yesterday afternoon from injuries suffered in a one-car crash this past Sunday. Fellow officers of the 100-member NFTA force have kept vigil at the hospital since the crash.

"I'm extremely proud of the support that the department has shown to the family," NFTA Police Chief George W. Gast said. "We couldn't do anything for Officer Insalaco in terms of his medical problems. All the department could do was provide support for the family. It's been tough."

Michael, age 42, was a 15-year veteran of the NFTA force, and previously worked as a part-time officer in Gowanda and Blasdell.
"He was an excellent police officer who comes from a law enforcement family," Gast continued. "He wanted to follow his father into law enforcement. He did so."

Twenty-four years ago, Michael's father, Erie County sheriff's deputy Robert S. Insalaco, was shot to death serving an arrest warrant in North Collins. He also was 42 when he passed away.

"We are deeply saddened at the passing of NFTA Police Officer Michael Insalaco," NFTA Executive Director Kimberley A. Minkel said. "At this time of extreme loss, our collective prayers and thoughts are with the Insalaco family. Officer Insalaco was a respected and dedicated member of our police force; his presence will be deeply missed."

Gast, who has served as NFTA chief since March 2010, called Michael "a very good street officer and good in his observation skills."

For the last six months Michael was on airport patrol at the Buffalo Niagara and Niagara Falls international airports.
"One of his greatest attributes was his observation skills," Gast said. On numerous occasions, the chief said, Michael helped prevent crime or assist in arrests.

Earlier this week, NFTA Officer John Yuhnke, a colleague and hunting buddy, said the presence of his colleagues seemed to calm the injured man.

Officer Insalaco was known among fellow officers as someone who could be relied on to help whenever it was needed. "Mike was always willing to help," Yuhnke said. "This is taking a toll on a lot of guys."

He served as the coach of one of his son's football teams.
Michael is survived by his wife, Kelly and three sons, Benjamin, Nicholas and Samuel, as well as his mother, a brother and a sister.

Family members were with him at ECMC when he passed away.
Visitations for his fellow officers, family and friends will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, 4199 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Monday in St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, 35 Edward St.