Framingham, MA – Framingham Police Officer Val Krishtal died on Jan. 5 after an 18-month battle with cancer.
“Anyone who knew Val knew that he was ‘blue through and through.’ From the day he graduated the academy, and the first time he wore the Framingham uniform, every stop he made, every case that he worked, he was 100 percent ‘blue,'” the Framingham Police wrote on its official Facebook page. “He will be missed.”
Officer Krishtal was diagnosed with Stage 4 intestinal cancer in July of 2018, the Framingham Patch reported.
“Val is part of our family,” Framingham Police Chief Steven Trask said. “We thought Val was on the mend. We thought there was some light at the end of the tunnel. Tragically, that wasn’t the case.”
After Officer Krishtal was diagnosed with cancer, the community rallied around him and held fundraisers to help pay for his chemotherapy, the Framingham Patch reported.
The almost-23-year veteran of the Framingham Police Department joined the police force in 1997.
Officer Krishtal worked as a patrol officer and a detective before he landed in the police department’s safety division, The MetroWest Daily News reported.
He spoke fluent Russian and served with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Boston Organized Crime Task Force that was investigating the Russian mafia.
“He was like a bulldog when he was on a case,” Ashland Police Chief Vincent Alfano, who is a former Framingham police officer and lieutenant, told The MetroWest Daily News. “Once he got his jaws into a case, he would really, really, really follow that case and stick with it until the end. He was a good old-fashioned street cop. He would put in the hard work.”
The sentiment was shared by numerous friends and colleagues.
“He was just tenacious… if I were in trouble, Val would be the last person I’d want to come looking for me,” retired Framingham Police Sergeant Michael Esposito said. “He’s a wolverine. Once he gets his teeth into a case, he won’t stop.”
The former top cop on his department said the same thing.
“He was a tenacious investigator,” former Framingham Police Chief Steven Carl told The MetroWest Daily News. “He never gave up. He would look under every stone he could find when he was an investigator. Curious, tenacious people make great investigators and that is Val. It’s really tragic.”
Friends said that Officer Krishtal focused his life on serving his family and the community.
“No better father, cop or friend than Val,” Framingham Police Detective Stacey Macaudda said. “He lived for his children and serving his community.”
Officer Krishtal is survived by two children, The MetroWest Daily News reported.
He lost a nine-year-old daughter to complications from cerebral palsy in 2014.
After her death, Officer Krishtal organized an annual fire truck pull to raise money for Special Olympics, The MetroWest Daily reported.
“He never complained and he was a guy who went through some trying times,” Sgt. Esposito said. “I don’t know if I would be able to go through the things he went through with his family and this. I remember the torment he went through with his daughter, who perished at a very young age. He stood by her the whole time. He would travel all over the world to get treatment.”
His friends said the fallen officer had a fantastic sense of humor and described his life as the “American dream,” The MetroWest Daily News reported.
“He was a larger than life character,” Chief Trask explained. “As a person, he was just a real likable guy. His life story… it almost reads as the American dream. He emigrated over here from the Ukraine, landed here in Framingham and became a police officer. He really loved being a police officer.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Framingham Police Officer Val Krishtal, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.