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Wayne Bennett, NY Trooper During 'Bucky' Phillips Search, Dies

 Wayne Bennett
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas
Wayne Bennett

A former New York State Police superintendent has died.

City officials in Schenectady, where Wayne Bennett was public safety commissioner, say he died Tuesday. The 71-year old had reportedly been undergoing cancer treatments.

Albany County DA David Soares says Bennett will be missed.  "You can't put a price tag on the level of confidence that a person like that instilled on everyone around you when you're going through some difficult things."

Bennett led the state police when career criminal Ralph "Bucky" Phillips escaped from a county jail outside Buffalo in 2006. While on the loose Phillips shot and wounded two troopers and fatally shot a third before being captured in a field across the border in western Pennsylvania.

Bennett retired in 2007 after 38 years with the state police and became Schenectady's fire and police commissioner.

  • Associated Press contributed to this report.
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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