Members of the Suffolk County Police Department gathered on January 26, 2021, to say a final goodbye to one of their own — Lieutenant Robert Van Zeyl — who was honored with a line of duty funeral at Gerard Majella R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Station, almost one week after he died from COVID-19. The SCPD was joined by others in law enforcement as well as family and friends of Van Zeyl.

His death is the first of an active-duty sworn member of the Suffolk County Police Department due to COVID-19.

Van Zeyl joined the Suffolk County Police Department in February 1985, was promoted to Sergeant in 1994 and then Lieutenant in 2003. He served as the Commanding Officer of the Applicant Investigation Section and the Administrative Services Bureau before transferring to the Second Precinct in 2015 where he worked until his death. During his career, Van Zeyl received more than a dozen recognitions for his contributions to the police department including two Cop of the Month honors and the Excellent Police Duty Award for amassing 12 or more self-initiated DWI arrests in a single year.

Van Zeyl spent his more than three-decade-long career dedicated to serving the community and, as a supervisor, was always concerned about officers’ safety and well-being. He was liked and respected by all who knew and worked with him.Van Zeyl, 60, is survived by his ex-wife Christine Zubrinic, a daughter, Hailey, and son, Tyler, both 14, who will always be part of our police family.

– Fire News photos by Bryan Lopez