To all Active and Retired NYSPIA Members,
Please read the below request on behalf of the New York State Troopers PBA for a Call to Action to oppose the consideration of parole for Joseph Comfort. Comfort is responsible for the murder of Inv. Robert L. VanHall, Jr. in 1980. Recently a decision by Judge Victor Grossman paved the way for the Parole Board to release John Ruzas, who murdered Trooper Emerson J. Dillon over 40 years ago. Judge Grossman ignorantly decided to hold the parole board in contempt for considering the opposition letters written by members of law enforcement. This cannot continue and the time is now more than ever to become involved and aggressively oppose the release of another cop killer.
Call to Action: Parole Opposition
We are writing to ask for your support and action to ensure that a convicted felon who killed a New York State Police Investigator decades ago remains in prison. Joseph Comfort, who murdered Inv. Robert L. VanHall Jr., is scheduled for a parole hearing during the week of January 29, 2018. We need your help to ensure Comfort is denied parole and kept in prison, where he belongs.
Investigator VanHall, who dedicated his life to serving and protecting the public, worked undercover in the war against drugs and was on duty on December 5, 1980 when he was murdered. He was shot with a sawed-off, double barreled shotgun. His partner was also wounded.
Investigator VanHall had also served two tours in the jungles of Vietnam as a Green Beret where he distinguished himself by being awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars – including one with a V Device – and a Purple Heart. After all of his service and sacrifice, Investigator VanHall was senselessly gunned down on the streets of Corning serving the people of New York State.
If you would like to mail a letter of opposition to the Board of Parole, it should be sent to the following address:
NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Attn: Office of Victim Assistance
1220 Washington Ave, Building 2
Albany, New York 12226
If you would like to submit a letter of opposition to the Board of Parole, you are able to do so by sending an email to the Office of Victim Assistance at email@example.com. In your email, please include the following:
Subject of Your Email: Letter of Opposition
(In the body of your email, please include the DIN and Inmate Information below. Also included below is a sample letter that you can use as part of your correspondence. It would be most beneficial if you could personalize or vary your letter a little bit so that the Parole Board sees each letter as an individual submission and not a copy.)
Inmate Last Name: Comfort
Inmate First Name: Joseph
I oppose the parole of convicted murderer Joseph Comfort (DIN 82C0273), who brutally murdered New York State Police Investigator Robert L. VanHall Jr. on December 5, 1980. Investigator VanHall dedicated his life to serving and protecting the public and was working undercover in the war against drugs when he was murdered. He was shot by Comfort with a sawed-off, double barreled shotgun and his partner was also wounded. Investigator VanHall was also a Vietnam veteran who was awarded several service medals. Comfort has no respect for the criminal justice system or the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to protect the public. Given the appalling statistics of police officers being killed or assaulted, coupled with the fact that Joseph Comfort has already murdered a New York State Trooper, I fear that history would repeat itself if Joseph Comfort was granted parole.
Christopher M. Quick
New York State Police Investigators Association
54 State Street Suite 300
Albany, NY 12207