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Monday, August 24, 2009

[NY] "It will be a very long time before any of us who have been so deeply impacted by Sheriff John can find peace with what happened."

Dennis B. John
Cattaraugus County Sheriff

..."It will be a very long time before any of us who have been so deeply impacted by Sheriff John can find peace with what happened... Times like this remind us of how interconnected we all are, how dependent on others we all are, and how none of us have to face these challenges alone"...

Video: Taps for Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis B. John outside St. Mary of the Angels Church, Olean, NY Aug. 22, 2009


SHERIFF REMEMBERED
Friends, Family, Fellow Officers Remember Dennis John
By Rich Place
August 23, 2009
[Excerpts] Five days after the death of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John, a funeral service and celebration of life was held in his honor at the St. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Olean on Saturday. A casket, covered with an American flag, was brought into the church as West Henley Street was lined with police cars and John's friends and family. In the air, three helicopters hovered over the church, and dozens of uniformed officers from across the region saluted the fallen sheriff... "Dennis served his county, his state and his country and he did all of these things with great, great pride," [acting Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy] Whitcomb said. "When you mention the word pride, how can you not think of Dennis John? I know for certain that there is no one in the church who can think of a person who carried more pride then Dennis John." Officer Joseph Grube of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department spoke on the behalf of the family after the service. "It will be a very long time before any of us who have been so deeply impacted by Sheriff John can find peace with what happened," he said. "Times like this remind us of how interconnected we all are, how dependent on others we all are, and how none of us have to face these challenges alone... We're a professional organization," he said about the Sheriff's Department. "So we will pick up the pieces, we will march forward, and we will use what his vision for us was: continue to improve, do our work and service the public we are here to serve." [Full article here]

Video: Death of sheriff stuns community WIVB



Sheriff John was also a member of the Seneca Nation’s Hawk Clan. Seneca Nation President Barry E. Snyder Sr.:
"On behalf of the Seneca Nation, we were deeply saddened to hear of the death of one of our most trusted and respected members, Dennis John. He was committed to his profession as a law-enforcement professional both for the Nation and Cattaraugus County."

CATTARAUGUS COUNTY SHERIFF REMEMBERED TODAY
AP/WGRZ
Posted By: Maria Sisti, Josh Boose, Aaron Saykin
Aug 23, 2009
[Excerpt] Cattaraugus County Sheriff's department captain Joseph Grube released a statement after the service:
"It will be a very long time before any of us who have been so deeply impacted by the Sheriff's death can find peace with what happened. Times like this remind us of how interconnected we all are; how dependent on others we are; and how none of us has to face life's challenges alone. In our extended Sheriff's Office family, each of us has looked deep inside ourselves and depended on our own circles of support to come to terms with the tragedy that struck us. None of us realized how large those circles can be. The outpouring of support is never more evident as we witness the events of today. It is a testament to the man we honor and remember. Now we all move forward" Police say John, 50, died by what appeared to be a self inflicted gunshot wound. "It's like you never get used to it, when it's not someone you know but when it's a close friend, I can't explain it. It's difficult and hard to believe," said Major Chris Cummings, New York State Police... "No one can tell, no one knows what's going on in one's mind or life but it's shocking that this happened to him," said Cochise Redeye, Chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corporation... [Full article here]

...John is survived by his wife, Sharon, of Little Valley and two daughters, one son and grandchildren...

SERVICES SET FOR SHERIFF WHO TOOK OWN LIFE
The Buffalo News
By T. J. Pignataro
August 20, 2009, 6:57 AM
[Excerpts] ...Those who knew John were still reeling from the news Wednesday. A steady stream of Cattaraugus County officials visited John’s wife, Sharon, at the family’s home in Little Valley, and grief counselors were on duty at county offices providing services to employees. John was remembered for his love of the job and compassionate approach to law enforcement... John, 51, would have been unopposed in a bid for a second four-year term in November, having won the endorsements of the Democratic, Republican, Independent and Conservative parties... The only remaining question now for friends, family and colleagues of John is— why? What led John to get into his county vehicle Tuesday morning, drive out to a remote logging road, text message his undersheriff of his location and then shoot himself in the chest? There was no outward indication John was troubled in any way, say those who knew him and spoke with him in the days leading up to his death. He had joked with Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard over breakfast last week and had a pleasant night at home Monday evening that included a telephone conversation with Undersheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb... [Full article here]

Video:


CATTARAUGUS COUNTY SHERIFF COMMITS SUICIDE
The Buffalo News
By Donna Snyder
Cattaraugus Correspondent
August 18, 2009, 11:24 PM /
[Excerpts] Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis B. John, the state's first and only Native American sheriff, sent a text message to Undersheriff Timothy S. Whitcomb minutes before taking his own life... The text message gave specific directions on where to find him, including mentioning a green flag that he had placed at the side of the road along with the mile marker there. He also asked the undersheriff to "take care of my wife." Whitcomb said John spent Monday night at home with his wife and then drove to Coldspring in the morning. "I talked to him last night and he seemed fine," Whitcomb said late Tuesday... Late Tuesday, The News learned that John was raised in the same home with Kimberly J. Speta, the mother of Colin Speta, the 26-year-old Falconer man who is presumed to have drowned after falling from a boat Sunday evening into Chautauqua Lake... John is survived by his wife, Sharon, of Little Valley and two daughters, one son and grandchildren... Meanwhile, fellow law enforcement officials regarded John as a reserved, unassuming professional and a fine man who presided over a tightly knit Sheriff's Office. They saw no signs of any despondency... [Full article here]

Video:


CATTARAUGUS COUNTY SHERIFF LAID TO REST
wkbw.com
By Jenny Rizzo
Story Published: Aug 22, 2009 at 6:50 PM EDT
Story Updated: Aug 22, 2009 at 6:50 PM EDT
[Excerpts] Cattaraugus County Sheriff Dennis John was laid to rest this morning. The sheriff killed himself earlier this week and still no one knows what led him to take his own life... "Serving Dennis as my sheriff was an honor," said Undersheriff Timothy Whitcomb... But instead of focusing on John's abrupt departure from this world, many today spoke about his life's achievements. Sheriff John was a 28-year veteran of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office, rising through the ranks from road patrol deputy to sheriff," said Major Christopher Cummings, of the New York State Police. "He was one of the few people you could consider a born leader. Dennis had the greatest gift of human insight that I've ever been exposed to," said Whitcomb. John was a Seneca Nation member and he was the first Native American to be elected to a sheriff's post in New York state... [Full article here]

Video: Colleagues remember Dennis John


FUNERAL PLANS SET FOR SHERIFF JOHN
Veteran law enforcer found dead Tuesday morning
WIVB.com
Dan LaDelfa
Posted by: Emily Lenihan
20 Aug 2009
[Excerpt] ..."I looked up to him as a role model and truly one of my best friends and that empathy and sympathy is shared with everyone of my brothers and sisters within this agency," said [Undersheriff Timothy] Whitcomb... [Full article here]

Video: Sudden death of Cattaraugus County sheriff


DENNIS B. JOHN:
August 20, 2009 LITTLE VALLEY — Dennis B. John, 51, of Little Valley passed away Aug. 18, 2009, in the town of Coldspring, N.Y. He was born March 18, 1958, in Salamanca, N.Y... [Full death notice here]


[law enforcement police officer deputy public safety grief loss suicide self-inflicted death]

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