Retired Detective Kevin Czartoryski Dead at 46

An openly gay detective who was the liaison between the New York City police department and the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community passed away on December 5 from a lung ailment related to his work at the World Trade Center site.

“The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) mourns the passing of Detective Kevin Czartoryski,” the group said in a statement. “AVP worked with Detective Czartoryski in his role as the Police Commissioner’s Liaison to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. Detective Czartoryski worked closely with AVP in reaching out to LGBT victims and survivors of hate violence, domestic violence, and sexual violence, and we mourn the loss of an ally in the fight to end discrimination and violence against LGBT people.”

Out gay NYPD officer was liaison to LGBT community

Czartoryski, 46, joined the police department in 1988 and served in the department’s narcotics and hate crime units, the Daily News reported. His last years until his 2009 retirement were spent in the department’s press office, where his assistance to the gay press proved invaluable. He was frequently quoted in the gay and mainstream media on high profile cases, including the 2005 drug arrest of singer Boy George.

Czartoryski was well over six feet tall with gray hair and was an unmistakable presence at gay events such as the city annual Pride March.

Czartoryski learned through his pre-retirement medical exam that he had pulmonary fibrosis and would likely require a lung transplant. In addition to being exposed to toxins at the World Trade Center site, Czartoryski was a smoker.

Czartoryski typically worked a four-to-midnight shift in the press office, and reporters seeking his help learned to call late in the evening. When he could not be reached, he would admit with some humor to having snuck off to smoke a cigarette in the police department headquarters.

Raymond Kelly, the police commissioner, issued a December 5 statement that saluted Czartoryski’s work.

“On behalf of the entire Police Department, I convey my condolences to family and friends of retired Detective Kevin Czartoryski who, before his untimely death today, served with great distinction in the Office of Deputy Commissioner Public Information and as my liaison to the LGBT Community,” Kelly said in the statement. “He was a consummate professional and a cheerful bridge for understanding who will be missed terribly.”

The Daily News reported that Czartoryski was “the youngest of six children” and grew up in Queens.

Czartoryski had a single lung transplant in May, the Daily News reported, but his condition deteriorated in August with the discovery that his cancer had spread.