Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Jay F. Brunkella

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, October 4, 1986

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Reflections for Police Officer Jay F. Brunkella

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 4, 2020

Jay was my first cousin. I was 16 the last time I saw him, I remember him as quiet but kind, when he was undercover he dropped by his mom and dad's apartment while we were visiting, and because no one heard the door buzzer he climbed 3 stories on the outside of the building to get in. He was undercover then and had long blond hair and a beard, which I thought was cool. He complained that the street dealers would let each other know when uniforms were in the area, which is why he chose undercover. This was way before cel phones so they had whistles to alert each other when cops were patrolling. I remember his wife and their dog CJ, he moved his VW Squareback out of their parking space onto the street for us to park and the way he moved that car was like NASCAR driving! I have always had a special respect for Police, because of Jay... I have a photo of him on his couch stretching after just getting home in January 1972

PFC Kevin Horne
1st Cousin

April 20, 2020

My law enforcement career is almost over but I often think of the ultimate sacrifice that Jay made. My Dad was his partner and Jay's passing hit him hard. He was never the same. Rest in Peace, Jay!

Sergeant Thomas Cotter, Jr.
Chicago Police Department - 25th District

October 19, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret.)
Upland Police Dept. CA

October 4, 2018


Illinois Antique Emergency Vehicle Assn.

June 24, 2015

I met Jay when I attended Truman Community College 1978. We spent time together talking about law enforcement. I was interested, because I was preparing to take the CPD exam. He was helpful, telling me the good, the bad and the ugly.
When I attended Jay's funeral, I could not help but shed tears till I couldn't see. It was an awesome sight. An eerie silence, except for much sobbing by both men and women. When I was going through the hiring process, circumstances caused me to move to South Carolina, where I did become a police officer. Jay's word stayed with me.
You could not help but love him. His genuine heart and honesty was like no other.

Corporal Mary Powell

July 30, 2013

I often would lift weights with Jay at the Leaning Tower YMCA. He was an awesome work-out partner and athlete but more than that, a great husband and father.

Craig F. Johns

July 19, 2013

Rest in Peace, Officer Brunkella. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

April 27, 2012

Jay was my cousin. His mother Shirley is my Aunt: my mother's sister. I met Jay in 1969 for the first time. If I remember correctly, he was working undercover at the time. He had long hair and a beard at the time. I remember being impressed by his sharp demeanor, he was focused at all times. He loved and respected his parents. I was 13 at the time and he left an indelible impression on a young boy. He seemed to have his stuff together!

I met him again in 1971 when my family moved to Washington State and passed thru Chicago on the way. He had just married Carol, his wife and I remember his kindness and focus on family. He seemed capable and in control but still very human. He drove a blue Volkswagen squareback and I recall when he moved his car so my family could park in their spot, he whipped that car around the lot like a Toreador/surgeon.

I am aware thru information from my Aunt Shirley, Jay's mom, that there were some "unusual" circumstances involved with Jay's shooting. It seems that his partner at the time of the incident, name forgotten, was considered a "hotdog". I see from some of the comments posted here so many years later, this is not isolated to my family information.

Was this matter addressed as was promised to my Aunt? Either way, Jay was a good MAN, and dearly loved by his family. He died too soon! We Love you Jay, and all those brothers and sisters who served before and after you.

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne

June 9, 2011

You worked for me when I was the tactical lieutenant in the 24th district. I remember you as a very good police officer, brave, and hard working. May God watch over your family. Till we meet again brother rest in peace.

Retired Chief of Police Gene Karczewski
CPD and Riverside PD (retired)

December 19, 2010

You have not been forgotten. Thank you for your dedicated service to others.

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer; Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

October 4, 2010

On this the 24th anniversary of your death we in the CPD salute your sacrifice and remind you that you shall never be forgotten.

Detective Thomas Downes

October 4, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 23rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya


October 19, 2009

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

You are never forgotten

Friend of Off. Kris Fairbanks RIP 9-20-08


March 13, 2009

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 30, 2007

You are remembered today and tahnk you Sir for your service.


October 14, 2007

My thoughts are with all of your loved ones on this anniversary of your EOW. Continue to keep watch over them and those still out on patrol. You have not been forgotten.

Bob Gordon
Father of CPD Officer Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

October 4, 2007

Jay was my uncle.

I was a very small child when it happened. I remember the service, all the other officers there. The huge procession. I remember meeting Mayor Harold Washington coming to shake my hand.
I will always miss him, but I know all his fellow officers probably do as well. Those that knew him, especially.

I recently got in a bit of trouble with the law. It was small, and a misdemeanor, but still... I came here to see his picture, to remember, and to apologize.

He is simply someone whose footsteps I should follow.

May 8, 2007

May Our Lord continue to comfort your loved ones and may He sooth the soul of your partner.Rest in Peace.

October 4, 2006

It has been two decades since your tour of duty ended and you have not been forgotten. On September 18, 2006, Chicago PD will dedicate their police memorial where your name will appear with honor, dignity and respect that it deserves. You are a true hero and heroes never die. Keep watch over your loved ones and those still out on patrol.

Bob Gordon, Father of fallen Chicago Officer
Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon, Chicago Gold Star Father

August 24, 2006

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies.....

God bless, hero. Rest in peace.

October 4, 2004

I was a Chicago Police Officer and worked with Jay. He was an excellent, aggressive, professional officer.

What surprises me is that he is not listed on the Chicago Police Memorial site.

Lt. Otto M. Fowich
East Hartford, CT P.D.

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