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Albany Police Officer Killed In Off-Duty Crash

An off-duty Albany Police officer was killed Wednesday in a motorcycle crash in the Albany County town of Knox.

The Times Union reported 25-year old Dean Johnson was riding his motorcycle Wednesday afternoon along Knox Cave Road when he lost control on a turn, crossed to the opposite lane and collided with an oncoming car. Johnson was thrown from his bike and taken to Albany Medical Center; the driver of the car was not injured.   Johnson died at the hospital.

Acting Albany Police Chief Robert Sears released a statement Wednesday night, calling Johnson "an exceptional man who was highly regarded by his peers and was already proving himself to be an incredible asset to the department. He was a man who excelled quickly, was always willing to learn and thrived on serving those in need."

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan:   "We are all saddened by the loss of Officer Johnson. He was a new member of the police department. He was a graduate of our second graduating class of our own internal police academy and did an outstanding job, was a true leader among a group of really outstanding leaders, and it really is a loss for his family, for our police department and our community."

Johnson had previously worked as an aide to Republican New York state Senator Jim Tedisco, who issued a statement that says in part, "Dean was my legislative aide in the Senate and Assembly who worked very hard on behalf of constituents and to help people in need and he did so always with a warm smile.  Dean’s easy-going positivity was infectious and he had a wonderful way of making people feel comfortable.”

Albany Common Council Member Alfredo Balarin serves on the Council's Public Safety Committee:   "My heart goes out to his family, his loved ones and everyone that he worked with. What I've heard about him was that he was very well-liked and was a public servant that we should all be very proud of. He will be missed by his co-workers, his family and the community he served. We lost a good one."

A Twitter post by the Albany Police Department shortly after the death was announced depicted Johnson as a “great man who thrived on serving those in need” and said “he will be truly missed.”

According Chief Sears, Officer Johnson joined the department in October 2017 and graduated from the academy in May.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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