Senator Dale Volker is the third generation Volker to hold public office. His grandfather, William Volker, was finance officer for the City of Buffalo. His father, Julius, served in the state Assembly from 1944 to 1966, rising to the position of the Chairman of the Assembly Codes Committee.
Senator Volker was born on August 2, 1940, in the town of Lancaster. A lifelong resident of the area, he was educated at St. Mary's Elementary and St. Mary's High School in Depew, attended Niagara University and graduated from Canisius College in 1963. While at Canisius, he served as Sports Publicity Director and later was named to a similar post with the Alumni Association.
Following graduation, Senator Volker worked full-time as a police officer in the Village of Depew while studying law at the University of Buffalo. He was elected President of the Buffalo Law School student body and received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Service to the school. After graduation, he continued to serve with the Depew Police Department for six years. Throughout his law enforcement career, he was a member of the Depew Police Benevolent Association, the Western New York Police Association and the New York State PBA.
Senator Volker was first elected to the state Assembly in 1972 and three years later won a special election to the state Senate, filling the seat vacated by Supreme Court Justice Thomas McGowan.
In 1987, Senator Volker was appointed Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, which plays a major role in shaping criminal justice policy for New York State. He has championed numerous issues that protected women and children from domestic violence, combated drug use and trafficking, addressed the problem of prison overcrowding, reinstituted capital punishment, toughened sentences for violent criminals and strengthened the rights of crime victims.
Senator Volker also serves as leader of the Western New York Delegation in the Senate, in which he is responsible for overseeing major legislative affairs that have a direct impact on the future of the entire Western New York region.
Prior to 1987, he served as Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. A nationally recognized expert on energy matters, he has advised federal officials and has represented the Senate as a member of the Energy Committee of the National Association of State Legislatures. In addition to criminal justice and energy issues, Senator Volker has been active in the field of mental health and served for twelve years as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Alcoholism.
Senator has been long active in the community and his church and is a member of St. Augustine's Roman Catholic Church in Depew and served as Chairman of the Catholic Charities Appeal. He has also directed the United Fund Appeal in Depew and is a member of many organizations including the Erie County Bar Association, Elks, Moose, Eagles, Board of Regents of Canisius College, Board of Trustees of St. Mary's High School, and is past vice-president of the Canisius Alumni Association.
As a member of the New York State Senate, Senator Volker serves on the following Committees: Codes – Chairman; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections; Ethics; Finance; Judiciary; Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities; and Rules.
Senator Volker and his wife, the former Carol A. Suchyna, reside in the Village of Depew and have three children, Martin Andrew, Mark Dale, and Meredith Ann.