Statement From Senator Young Regarding the Loss of Sheriff Dennis John

Catharine Young

August 18, 2009

            “This news is shocking and tragic, and I’m deeply saddened by the loss of my friend.  My heart goes out to Denny’s entire family.  He was a son, husband, father, and grandfather who was loved dearly.  My sympathies also go to the Sheriff’s Department, other county employees and Denny’s countless friends.  It is an extremely difficult time for everyone.

            Sheriff John broke ground when he became the first and only Sheriff of Native American descent ever to hold office in New York State.  It was a very proud day when he was confirmed by the state Senate in 2005, and he went on to win his election by a landslide that November.   I believe he won with such a large margin because of his love for law enforcement.  He told me once that he couldn’t ever see himself doing anything else.

He worked tirelessly to keep Cattaraugus County safe.  He especially was concerned about senior citizens and their safety, and we often would call for his help when we felt an elderly person was being taken advantage of by a scammer.  He always jumped right in to help, and he will be missed by an awful lot of people.”