Born August 29, 1977, David Charles Brinkerhoff grew up in the Town of Boston NY and went on to graduate from Hamburg High School in 1995. As a child he was very active in the town recreation programs and spent many summers on the playing fields enjoying soccer and baseball. He participated in the town ski program at Kissing Bridge and went on to umpire baseball while also being an active youth member at Faith United Church of Christ.
In high school David was a member of the varsity soccer and baseball teams as well as playing the trombone as a member of the marching band. While sports and a job at Brunner's Pizza Baron kept him busy, he was a well-rounded student and completed the EMT certification program which allowed him to get a jump on his career of helping others. He was a friend to everyone and enjoyed nothing more than being with people and having a good laugh.
David went on to attend the University of Albany, majoring in Political Science, where he volunteered and worked his way up to the Director of Operations for the Five Quad Ambulatory Services. He was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu and continued to spread his good nature to those he met. His senior year brought the chance to enter the New York State Police Academy and he jumped at the opportunity. His best friend and roommate, David Atkins, would join him in this journey and together they would complete the long and intense training. David would later return to complete his degree and add a Maters degree to his developing resume.
As a Trooper, David treated the people of New York state as his top priority. He spent many hours consoling individuals and helping them work through their difficulties. He established lasting relationships with those he helped and even with those who got into trouble. During his tenure David worked in NYC after the 9/11 attack and helped during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. The Mobile Response Team (MRT) took on a new class in late 2005 and David jumped at the chance to be part of this elite team. The consumate team player, David trained and studied hard to be a part this special operations unit. His physical size was always overshadowed by his hardwork, honesty, dedication, and commitment to getting a job done to help others.
On April 25, 2007 the MRT was summoned to Margretville to search for a wanted man in connection for shooting fellow Trooper Matt Gombosi the day before. During the raid on a local farmhouse a chaotic gunfight ensued. Trooper Richard Mattson was injured during the battle and dozens of rounds were fired between the suspect and members of MRT. David was heavily involved in the exchange and would eventually be credited with shooting and killing the suspect. Unfortunately, during the confusion of gunfire and close quarters, at almost the same time David was fatally injured from friendly fire.
David left behind a beautiful wife, Barbara, and his 7-month old daughter Isabella. His family and friends mourned their loss with thousands of others from around the country and will miss him every day. While David may have left this world too early, he is surely helping someone, somehow, in some way we can only be proud.