Thomas S. Strejlau, 57, Chaumont

CHAUMONT, NY —  Thomas S. Strejlau, 57, Chaumont, retired City of Watertown Police Department patrolman and detective, passed away Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, at his home with family at his side and under the direction of Hospice of Jefferson County.

Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, 632 State St., Watertown. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, at Holy Family Church, 129 Winthrop St., Watertown.

He is survived by his wife, Joanna; two sisters Lynn Newman, Watertown, Donna Strejlau, Glen Park; a nephew Christopher (Christine) Newman, Warners, NY, a niece Amanda (Jason) DesJardins, Glen Park; eight great nephews and one great niece; his father and mother in-law, John and Terry Crump, Brownville, Christine and Bernard Ryan, Adams Center; in-laws John Crump, Syracuse, Michael Crump, Arizona, Michelle (Brad) Sanford, Sackets Harbor; numerous cousins and friends.

Tom was born June 25, 1964, in Watertown, a son to the late Thomas E. And Deloris Spaziani Strejlau. He was a 1983 regents graduate at General Brown Central School. He graduated in 1983 from Jefferson BOCES electrical program number one in his class. He joined his then brother-in-law and Watertown police department Lieutenant James Newman to create COP-R Electrical.

Tom worked for the New York State Dept. of Corrections as a civilian employee from 1983 to 1986. He graduated from the St. Lawrence/Black River Valley Police Academy in 1986. He served with the Watertown City Police Department beginning in 1986, serving in the capacities of department fleet manager, Stop DWI/traffic unit coordinator, Community Policing officer and was recruited to begin the Community Policing Office on Public Square. In 2000 Tom joined the major case Criminal Investigations Division obtaining the rank of detective. Tom served on the Drug Task Force from 2004 until retiring in 2008. Tom served as Officer in Charge with the Village of Cape Vincent from 2007 to 2021.

During his tenure with the police department, Tom was one of two officers in New York State to be selected for the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and M.A.D.D. “Top Cop” of the year both in 2000. In 2006 he received the US DEA certificate of appreciation for outstanding contributions in the field of drug law enforcement.

He also served as a NYS certified general topics instructor, field training officer, SWAT member and National Safety Council Defensive Driver course instructor. Tom served on the TIERS board, Clayton and the Town of Lyme planning board.

Tom gifted us with his caring and generous spirit. He put 110% into everything he did, and it showed. His dedication to decades of public service was beyond reproach. His “Blue Family” meant the world to him and they were his forever brothers and sisters.

Tom had tremendous talents. He owned and operated Guffin Bay Woodworking where he was an expert in woodworking and everything related to it, his passion. Whatever Tom meticulously created for you, you got the best. He took great pride in every piece he made.

He welcomed all to his and Joanna’s beautiful Pt. Salubrious home. Nobody left a Super Bowl or 4th of July party hungry or without new laugh-lines. Pranks definitely were his forte. If Tommy pranked you, you knew he liked you. His sense of humor was quick and spot on-probably generational from his Dad.

Above all, Tom’s family was most important to him. He loved his wife with everything in him. He shared his love with his family and his cats (not necessarily in that order). He gave felines their best lives. Tom was loved and respected by all. He accomplished much in his 57 years and will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched. We lost one of the good ones.

Special thanks to the many friends who have provided hours of comfort and support.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Watertown Police Benevolent Association (PBA) PO Box 600, Watertown, NY 13601 or to the Chaumont Volunteer Fire Department, 11385 NYS 12E, Chaumont, NY 13622.

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